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European Online Gambling Body Speaks On Harvard Gambling Study
The Harvard Medical School Addictions Division's epidemiological study of gambling addiction, which showed that online gambling is not the horror story its detractors claim it to be, has received wide industry and mainstream media coverage this week. One of the major organisations commenting on the findings is the European Gambling and Betting Association, which counts most major European online gambling firms among its members.
The Association published a summary of the Harvard findings in its newsletter this week, accompanied by a statement from the secretary general, Sigrid Ligné, in which some excellent points were made:
"Online gaming inspires polarised and passionate debate, and so has quickly become obscured by myth and innuendo," Ligne wrote. "But when the outcome of this debate could affect Europe’s market leadership, people’s jobs and freedom of consumer choice, we need dispassionate consideration of the facts.
"This is why the promotion of facts, figures and peer-reviewed research is an integral part of our remit.
"There’s an old phrase, 'Don’t let facts stand in the way of a good story'. EGBA is ensuring that the ‘stories’ of those with vested interests don’t get in the way of the facts. Our message is simple: clarity over confusion, openness over obscurity, and research over rumour."
The study was carried out by a respected team of Y. Evelyn Chao, Ph.D., Debi A. LaPlante, Ph.D. and Howard J. Shaffer, Ph.D. at the Harvard Medical School, Division on Addictions.
Most gambling research utilises self-report – what study participants say about their gambling patterns and experiences – but this methodology is vulnerable to problems of memory, human error, and self-presentation biases, the team emphasised.
To avoid these problems and accurately describe internet gambling, as well as the factors that influence the development and maintenance of gambling-related problems, researchers need to examine actual internet gambling behaviour, and the methodology adopted by the team, aided by full cooperation from the Bwin group, ensured this..
Scientific studies of actual internet gambling require cooperation between the gaming industry and scientists, and the team remains engaged in a diverse research agenda involving Bwin that rests primarily on the actual internet gambling behaviour of Bwin subscribers.
The unique collaboration already has produced numerous publications available through peer-reviewed scientific journals. In the first seven database studies, the Shaffer team identified a substantial sample of more than 40 000 Bwin subscribers representing more than 80 countries who registered during February 2005.
The epidemiological findings that resulted from this study, one of the most detailed and comprehensive scientific studies of addiction yet, contradict the conventional view often used by detractors of the online gambling industry that most Internet gamblers exhibit excessive gambling behaviour.
Instead, the evidence shows that the vast majority of Bwin subscribers engage in moderate betting behaviour (e.g., 2.5 fixed odds sports bets of €4 every fourth day, or 1 casino play every 2 weeks).
Danske Spil Bingo Moves to Microgaming -
The national lottery of Denmark, Danske Spil, is live on the Microgaming Bingo Network. Danske Spil, the Danish national lottery, is live on the Microgaming Bingo Network following a change to its licence conditions.
Quickfire live on Strendus -
Quickfire powered by Microgaming is extending its reach in the LatAm region with the signing of Strendus. Strendus is the online division of Logrand Entertainment Group. The group comprises several companies that operate gaming and entertainment establishments in Mexico, running 14 land-based casinos in total.
Quickfire content live on BetatHome -
Online gaming and sports betting company bet-at-home was founded in 1999. Today the company has 4.8 million registered customers around the world, offering sports betting, casino, live casino, Vegas games, poker and virtual sports.
Microgaming has donated £30,000 between four charities -
Gift of Giving provides Microgamingís customers the opportunity to vote for one of several charities in their region. In lieu of Christmas gifts, £30,000 is split equally between four global regions: Isle of Man, UK and Europe, Africa, and Rest of the World.
Entertainment Betting Odds: 90th Academy Awards -
The Shape of Water leads Sundayís 90th Academy Awards (8 PM ET, ABC) with 13 Oscar nominations, but when it comes to Best Picture, this highly-acclaimed film is a +140 second-favorite behind Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri at Ė115.
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