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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).
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Gambling News :
Phil Ivey Loses Borgata Casino -
Phil Ivey has lost in his four-year legal tussle with the Borgata over baccarat winnings; on Friday a US federal judge ruled that he and a companion violated New Jersey state gambling regulations in the manner in which they won nearly $10 million playing at the Atlantic City casino.
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Playtech Acquires ECM Systems -
Online gambling soiftware provider Playtech plc has announced the acquisition of a ninety percent stake in UK bingo software developer ECM Systems for a consideration of GBP 14.9 million.
Marks and Spencer store Manager steals to Gamblie Online -
The Cambridge News reports that a 28-year-old manager of a Marks and Spencer store, Martin Trenor, has been jailed for three years for stealing GBP 254,538.11 in shop takings over the course of a year and spending it almost immediately at online gambling websites.
Chinese Gambling crackdown could damage high roller revenue -
Fast-moving events this week have seen Australian media reports quoting hundreds of millions of dollars wagered by Chinese high rollers in Aussie land casinos, offset to some extent by Crown claims that this whale gambler" demographic generates only 12 percent of turnover.
EvenBet Open Face Chinese Poker -
Open Face Chinese Poker online games provider EvenBet has reported that its Open Face Chinese Poker product is gaining traction with games recently integrated for desktop action at the Malta-licensed operational site Poker Grant.
2016 EPT Malta -
The European Poker Tour is off to a good start in Malta, with German pro Dietrich Fast claiming a well-earned Euro 174,000 main prize in the Euro 10,000 buy-in Single-Entry Rebuy event.
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