A study at Harvard University concluded that there is no evidence to suggest online gambling is any more addictive than gambling offline, and that anti-gambling beliefs such as easy access to online casinos leads to problems, are simply not true. A significant finding of the study is that of all of the 4,000 online casino gamblers that were studied, only a very small amount, between 1 and 5% in fact, showed any signs of ‘intense gambling’ behaviour, which is in line with other forms of gambling activity. The authors additionally suggest that gambling addiction has not risen in the last 35 years, despite the accessibility of online casinos.
The study also showed that online casino gamblers spend a lot less time actually playing their favored casino games than what many people think, and also that they lose far less money. During 2013 it is estimated that around $475 billion was lost by players in casinos around the world, however just a tiny 7% of that money was lost online, and these eye opening numbers may also point to as to why regulated online casinos in New Jersey are faring so poorly...is it maybe a case of that the wrong assumptions were made regarding online casino players activities?
The Harvard study shows that online casinos also do a lot more to promote responsible gambling, that strict age verification checks tackle any potential underage gambling and that they are in general way more proactive when it come to the area of problem gambling. Casino credit for example is something that you would never get in online casinos, however it is common for larger players in land based casinos.
The study is somewhat of a blow to the anti online gambling campaigners and it clearly shows that online casinos are not be used as scapegoats when the issue of problem gambling arises. The much smaller amount of time spent in online casinos than was thought to be the case combined with such a small overall percentage of losses coming from online casinos means that those groups with an anti-gambling stance, may have to rethink their attack. When you think about it logically, the study makes sense in that online casinos are very accessible, and maybe that’s why players spend much less time in them and spend far less cash, as it’s very easy to login and spend $10, however very few people would spend just a few minutes in a land based casino, and would probably enter with a little more than just $10!