9/15/09 – In what appears to be a result that challenges previous industry studies, a British academic has presented research results at the British Psychological Society’s Social Psychology Conference that claims online gamblers are ten times more likely to run into problem gambling issues than punters who gamble offline.
Dr. Mark Griffiths, a professor at Nottingham Trent University said that his research project "The Internet and gambling: A secondary analysis of findings from the 2007 British Gambling Prevalence Survey" was based on data from the current British Gambling Prevalence Survey.
He claimed that this showed that the level of problem gambling among those who had used the internet to gamble, some 5 percent of those surveyed, was ten times higher than that among those who did not.
“This study’s findings suggest that the medium of the internet may be more likely to contribute to problem gambling than gambling in offline environments," Professor Griffiths observed. "It is clear that gaming companies need to acknowledge they will need to provide even better social responsibility infrastructures online than offline to minimise the harm to problem gamblers.”
The British Gambling Prevalence Survey study on which Griffiths based his findings used data from a survey of 9 003 adults aged 16 years and over who had gambled online and/or used a betting exchange in the last 12 months. The research was done in collaboration with the National Centre for Social Research and Professor Jim Orford of the University of Birmingham, and was funded by the UK Gambling Commission.
Griffiths touched on finding solutions for problem gamblers, saying: “There is also the issue of how internet problem gamblers can be helped. Recent research suggests that online problem gamblers appear to prefer to seek help online, therefore online help, guidance and treatment may be a potential way forward to help those who may feel too stigmatised to seek traditional face-to-face help for their gambling problems.”
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