Tuesday December 10,2013 : WILL U.S. ONLINE GAMBLING INCREASE THE RISK OF ADDICTION?
Problem gambling specialist gets in an early shot before today's Congressional hearing.
Dr. Rachel Volberg, one of those on the witness list for Tuesday's US House of Representatives Committee on Energy and Commerce, Subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing and Trade hearing on the “State of Online Gaming”, made some early points in a press release Monday that left no doubt about the content of her evidence.
Volberg, a University of Massachusetts-Amherst specialist in problem gambling for the last 25 years, says there will likely be an increase in gambling addiction as a result of the expansion of online gambling.
She notes that when internet gambling is legalised the ease of access and increased availability are just two factors that have been shown to lead to more gambling problems, and while these problems may decrease over time, most of the harm cannot be undone.
Volberg argues that governments in particular face conflicting incentives between maximising gambling revenues and minimising social costs, and therefore urges legislators to include the protection of public health as a specific objective of any gambling legalization and regulation.
Volberg and National Council of Problem Gaming executive director Keith Whyte will be attending the hearing, which commences just after midday Washington time today.