Research shows that Online Gamblers are more Disciplined
Dr. Howard Shaffer, director of the Harvard Medical School’s Addictions Department, has concluded that the majority of online gamblers are gambling in a more moderate and mild way than gamblers in the 1970s.
After teaming up with European online gambling group Bwin, Shaffer has been working on the development of a better understanding of responsible gambling. His results show that the prevalence of problem gambling hasn’t increased despite increases in general gambling over the last two decades. In addition, problem gambling has in fact declined from the 70s, from 0.7% to 0.6% today.
These findings suggest that the early prediction that a wider availability of gambling would lead to substantial increases in gambling related problems has not appeared.
Shaffer said of his results, “The very first thing we learned, which we didn't expect, was that the vast majority, the overwhelming majority, of gamblers online gamble in a very moderate and mild way.”
These results are particularly significant given the current debate over legislation to restrict gambling online despite the considerable demand to be able to be able to do so.
Shaffer suggests that preventing people from gambling online is unlikely to be ineffective in reducing problem gambling, rather, education, public awareness programs and truth in advertising regulations will be more successful in helping to keep gambling safer.