Friday May 22,2015 : MORE EDUCATION ON PROBLEM GAMBLING REQUIRED
Compulsive gambling expert says: "You are not going to develop problems just by going online, but we also know that it is very dangerous for people who have existing vulnerability."
Australian problem gambling specialist Dr Sally Gainsbury from Southern Cross University is to present the findings of her latest research to an international addiction conference on the Gold Coast today, and has told ABC News that more education on the dangers of problem gambling is needed.
The advent of smart phone betting and gambling has increased risk, necessitating the adoption of new prevention and treatment strategies, she said, adding:
"We know that internet gamblers are more likely to be young adults, so not the youngest people, but we are certainly seeing a new generation who are exposed to a lot of advertising, who are more familiar and comfortable making payments online and playing online games," she said.
"So it is something we really have to look at and focus prevention efforts on now."
Gainsbury said that while the internet had made it easier for more people to place more bets more quickly, that did not necessarily mean the number of problem gamblers would climb.
"You are not going to develop problems just by going online, but we also know that it is very dangerous for people who have existing vulnerability," she said.
"So if you have gambling problems already and you go online then you are likely to worsen those problems."
Gainsbury said online gambling had not replaced bricks and mortar gambling venues but it was attracting a growing number of patrons.
"We haven't seen a massive migration away from the land-based venues but….we might see a shift over generations as young people are more involved online than offline," she said.