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Internet gambling one of the least admitted genres
Wednesday October 12, 2011 : Internet gambling one of the least admitted genres
A study released this week by the Iowa Department of Public Health reveals that only 5 percent of respondents have ever gambled online, and of these only 2 percent have done so in the last 12 months.
The University of Northern Iowa was commissioned for the study, which took place between February and May this year and involved written and telephonic invitations to 10 000 adult Iowans, from which 1,700 Iowans responded.
Iowa lawmakers recently considered the legalisation of online gambling, and the matter is still a live issue. The Iowa Legislature may take up the issue of legalising online poker during the 2012 session in a move to regulate a pastime that is already widely used in the state, on offshore websites.
Looking at the prevalence of gambling in general, the survey discovered that Iowa’s percentage of pathological gambling remains low at about 1 percent, and researchers were pleased to discover that 90 percent of respondents were well informed on state problem gambling treatment facilities.
91 percent of respondents reported having gambled ever, whilst 69 percent said they had gambled in the past 12 months and 42 percent saying they had gambled in the preceding 30 days. 80 percent said they gambled for fun and entertainment.
The most common gambling activity reported by Iowans was raffle tickets (including charities), followed by casino slot machines, lotteries and scratch tickets or pull tabs.
Iowa currently ranks high among states with gambling opportunities with three state-licensed race-track casinos, 18 state-licensed riverboat casinos, three Native American casinos and the Iowa Lottery.
“I think gambling is a part of our culture," said a researcher. "That’s true in Iowa and that’s true in pretty much every state across the country, [the report] speaks to how integrated it has become, how accepted it has become in our culture in Iowa. It’s no longer something that is happening in back rooms."
"Not a lot of Iowans are gambling on the Internet in the general population and there are not a lot of Iowans who have sought out treatment from us that are gambling on the Internet,” he continued. “What will happen if it’s legalised and that door is open, it’s hard to definitively say because there isn’t a [US] state where you can draw on an example where that has happened before.”
To see the complete report, visit www.idph.state.ia.us/IGTP/Reports.aspx
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