Monday October 14,2013 : AUSTRALIA'S FIRST EVER STUDY OF ONLINE GAMBLING
Southern Cross University academic talks about her findings.
Dr. Sally Gainsbury of the Southern Cross University, who appears to be the Australian media's go-to academic researcher when it comes to problem gambling, says that internet punters are more likely to be at risk of becoming problem gamblers, according to her latest study.
Talking to the Herald Sun newspaper over the weekend, Gainsbury discussed her study of 4,688 Australians who gamble online, and her conclusion that 30 percent of these respondents experienced low to moderate risks compared with 15 percent of people who gamble using traditional, "offline” means.
Low to moderate risks include not being able to pay bills, spending more than intended and chasing losses.
Gainsbury claimed that her nationally representative survey was the first of its kind on online gambling in Australia.
"When you're gambling online, because it's electronic, it doesn't have the same salience as having that $50 note in your hand," Dr Gainsbury said, adding that in another general telephone survey of 15,006 Australian adults conducted by Southern Cross in three years ago, researchers found that 8 percent of respondents had gambled online in the past 12 months.
"That's a massive increase because more than half of these started playing online from 2009 or later," she said.
Gainsbury says that her research has found that half of online problem gamblers developed their compulsion to gamble after using internet gambling…but half already had a problem before they started using the online genre.
She also warns that the risk of developing a gambling problem is greatest among the young.