The Facts About Online Gambling and Propensity For Addiction

I just did some research on online gambling and the same theme kept repeating itself over and over. I am not going to site any statistics because I believe that many statistics can be wrong if not cited from a well conducted study.

What I did learn, however, is the following:

1.Online gambling is illegal in the U.S and is run be offshore casinos that move from location to location. These are remote locations which are operating illegally in many instances.

2. Moving from location to location creates absolutely no accountability or credibility by these offshore casinos. There are no legal controls on the games that are played by unsuspecting internet users throughout the world. The money lost to these unscrupulous casinos is in the millions.

3. Online gambling addiction has been increasing every year, and the individuals playing in online casinos are getting younger and younger by the year. Individuals playing in online casinos are underage as well, and can become addicted to online gambling at a very young age. This does not bode well for their future, as it is much harder to stop an addiction when a person starts at such a young age.

4. The addictive nature and availability of online gambling makes this form of gambling one of the most dangerous. Because a gambler can play casino games right from his or her computer, there is access to gambling 24 hours a day. The implications of this scenario are very disturbing indeed.

5. Internet gambling addiction is very fast moving, and therefore the losses can happen very fast. i Internet gambling addiction is also progresses very fast because of the fast action.

Some Answers to Your Questions About Gambling Addiction

How Do I Know If I Have A Gambling Addiction?
You will know if you have a gambling addiction if gambling has affected your life negatively socially, emotionally, financially and spiritually. If you have gambled alone, and have missed work, lost more than you could afford, or lied about gambling, you more than likely have a gambling addiction. “Compulsive Gambling” is considered an impulse control disorder and is characterized by unstoppable thoughts and uncontrollable impulses to gamble. “Problem Gambling” is considered less severe than compulsive gambling, but it is still a very serious problem.

Someone in my family is addicted to gambling. What should I do?
There are many paths you could take when a family member is addicted to gambling. You can go to a gamanon meeting yourself to get 12 -Step support from other family members of gamblers.(Check links and resources). This might be a good first step in finding out how to approach your family member, since every situation is different. Please check resources page for more information on this topic.

I have a gambling addiction and I have lost a lot of money. I am in debt, and I do not know what to do. Can you help?
Going into debt is one of the biggest after-effects of a gambling addiction. It can effect the gambler long after he or she stops gambling and is one of the long-term consequences of gambling addiction. When you attend a Gamblers Anonymous 12-Step Group you can find support from trusted members on how to deal with your debt problems. Please also visit the links and resources page to find out more about debt and credit solutions as a result of your gambling addiction. Remember, gambling addiction is not a money problem.. it is an emotional and spiritual problem with financial consequences.

Can I have a gambling addiction if I go to the casino.. but mostly win?
Yes. There are 4 phases of a gambling addiction. 1. Winning Phase: Usually starts with a big win and a belief that good luck will continue indefinitely. 2. Losing Phase: More pre-occupied with gambling. You are gambling alone, missing work, lying about your whereabouts, and beginning to chase your losses. 3. Desperation Phase: This is truly characterized by a loss of control, preoccupation with gambling, defaulting on most debt, cheating or stealing,loss of job or primary relationship. 4. Hopeless Phase: You hit rock bottom. You may also start abusing drugs or alcohol. Suicide thoughts and attempts are common in this phase.

I gamble when I am lonely and depressed. How come?
You are most likely known as an “escape gambler” You gamble to escape emotional pain. Most “escape gamblers” can become addicted to slot machines, online gambling, and bingo. An “action gambler” is someone who enjoys risk taking and gambles on games of skill such as sports betting, the stock market, and cards. “Action-gamblers” have been traditionally male, however, the genders are becoming well represented in each group.

US Students Are Ignoring Online Gambling Prohibition

Several new studies show that college students are flocking to online gambling websites in record numbers. The studies show a 12% increase in college students that participate in online gambling from two years ago. The unlawful Internet gambling enforcement act (UIGEA) was passed and became law in October 2006 by the government to curb the online gambling. But the UIGEA not deterred online gambling, but in fact has actually increased the Internet gambling activity.

The US is considered the top Internet gambling market in the world and now high school and college age students ages 14 to 22 are getting into the act. One of the studies was conducted by the Annenberg adolescent communication Institute at the University of Pennsylvania. This telephone study found that in college aged males 16% admitted to gambling online that figure is up from 4.4% in 2008. High school students who gamble online on a monthly basis were up from 2.7% to 6.2%. Of the participants virtually none admitted to weekly online gambling.

The woman in the study showed a significant jump in online gambling participation with high school females that gamble online monthly jumping from 0.5% to 1.5%. Women have been the driving force behind the explosion in poker in the US.

Online poker players have been lobbying the US Congress to repeal the current UIGEA law. The new bill passed the House Financial Services Committee, but doesn’t look like it will be voted on by the full house before the end of the year. With no vote this year a new bill have to be introduced in 2011. The idea of regulating online casinos and poker rooms has many politicians including it in their campaigns. Hoping that this will help many states increase tax revenue and help balance the state’s budget.

As a result of these studies it is projected that 400,000 college aged persons and 500,000 high school students gamble online at least once a month.