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Is online gambling addictive? Don't bet on it
Wednesday August 20,2014 : POSITIVE WORDS FOR ONLINE GAMBLING
Addiction misinformation corrected in mystery Daily Mirror advertorial.
A mystery advertorial taken out in the UK mass circulation newspaper Daily Mirror this week puts the record straight on misinformation frequently put out by opponents of the industry on addiction rates in online gambling.
Headed "Is online gambling addictive? Don't bet on it, suggests new research," the advertorial quotes hard-fact and well known results from an extensive Harvard University Medical School study that concluded there is no evidence to suggest that online casinos create more problem gamblers than any other form of gambling.
One of the findings that emerged from the survey was that only a small percentage of online players (between 1 percent and 5 percent) exhibited "intense gambling behaviour that significantly exceeded the rest of the significant research sample.
This is in line with most other forms of gambling activity, and two of the survey's authors have additionally commented that instances of gambling addiction have remained constant for the last thirty-five years, despite the increased accessibility that online casinos offer.
The advertorial acknowledges that problem gambling is a serious issue for significant numbers of people, but notes that the Harvard research indicated that punters are spending substantially less time - and losing significantly less money - playing at online casinos than has been suggested.
The advertorial quotes figures from The Economist estimating that of the $475 billion believed lost in worldwide gambling in 2013, only around 7 percent was lost in online casinos.
The piece also claims that online casinos are more proactive in the promotion of responsible gambling policies, in most cases publishing contact advice and links for problem gambling counselling; strictly enforcing age and ID verification checks; providing self-exclusion and loss-limit options; and training staff in identifying and dealing with suspected gambling problems.
The article concludes: "The Harvard research suggests that the frequency at which people play online, and the sums of money they lose, are not the cause for concern that campaigners would have us believe, and that online casinos are no more responsible for creating problem gamblers than their bricks and mortar counterparts, despite dire warnings to the contrary."
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