Are Online Casinos Safer Than Offline Casinos?

7 November 2016 3 minutes to read
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Gambling be it offline or online is still perceived by many folk as a vice. That being said, a Harvard Medical School of Addiction points out that online casino games are not near as addictive as initially thought (http://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2014/07/the-psychology-of-online-gambling-versus-going-to-a-casino/374107/). Nineteen thousand people (men and women) from the U.S, UK, Germany and Canada recently participated in a health symptoms survey conducted by the American Psychiatric Association (APA).

 

Online Casino Games Less Addictive?

Half of the respondents said that they regularly play at online casinos. Between 2 or 3 percent experienced some form of ‘distressing’ issue when they played at land-casinos while 0.5 percent to 1 percent said that they became ‘stressed’ when the wager online because they can’t control their gambling addiction. The British Gambling Prevalence Survey says that the UK’s rates is significantly less when compared to that of the U.S’.

In the UK’s survey (University of Oxford), researchers said that players between the age of 18 to 24 (roughly 1 percent of the adult population) said that they experienced some form of gambling disorder. The APA said that it characterized 9 symptoms that’s normally associated with internet gambling disorders. Each symptom is given the same weight, the crux of the matter is that problem gamblers experienced a ‘feeling of significant distress’ which is similar to a sports fan watching the playoffs or the finals.

‘The games offered in brick and mortar institutions were the same as the ones I could find online, so what then was the allure of these places that made me forgo the obvious comforts of gambling in my own room?” The Atlantic

Those who participated in the survey be it through Google Surveys or YouGov completed the health checklists and symptoms. Per the APA’s list of 9 symptoms they had to report 5. Five and more on the checklist normally experience a feeling of significant distress.

What exactly are the symptoms problem gamblers experience when they wager at online or land-based venues? Players have anxiety, if they don’t play a specific game for a short period of time they experience withdrawal symptoms. They wager more cash than they intend to, they can’t control their gaming habits, they become detached from society and they lose interest in social activities.

“To our knowledge, these are the first findings from a large-scale project to produce robust evidence on the potential new problem of “internet gaming disorder. ” Dr Andrew Przybylski, from the Oxford Internet Institute.

However, Przybylski concluded that the study did not find a clear link between potential addiction and negative effects on health. More research is needed that’s grounded in open and robust scientific practices to determine if the games are truly as addictive as many say it is.

Why Internet Gambling Is Safer?

Let’s take a typical UK online casino like PKR for example. The operator is licensed by the British Gambling Commission, the UKGC (United Kingdom Gambling Commission) compels the operator to ensure that the RNG of its games are fair and it must have the necessary ‘Responsible Gaming’ tools in place. The latter option enables  problem gamblers to request a cooling off period from the casino which allows them to exclude them from the operator for a few weeks to indefinite. The Commission said in a recent press statement that it’s going to come down hard on operators that flout its laws (https://casinowhizz.com/british-gambling-commission-steps-plate/).

Pros And Cons Between Online And Offline Gambling

  • Players who wager online are not always mentally relaxed, they don’t see opulent decor such as gold ceilings, scantily clad waitresses or lotus-flowered sculptures.
  • Off line casinos don’t offer players responsible gaming tools (deposit, session limits and self-exclude options).
  • Players who wager at land-casinos feel part of a ‘gambling community’. However, with the advent of live casinos all this is changing, online players can now interact with fellow players and the live dealers via webcam from the PC’s or mobile phones.

Further Reading

1. http://www.jogoremoto.pt/docs/extra/VLa8sx.pdf

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