Online Poker Eclipsed by Sports Betting as Source of Problems

Published Saturday, March 12, 2011 -

Studies are done constantly in all parts of the world on the implications of gambling and the effects the various forms of gambling have on the population. Social problems are sometimes not as obvious to the average person as they are to professors and analysts that are paid to look at the bigger picture. In Australia the quest continues to find reasons to ban online gambling and satisfy the political promises made when forming the current government there.

The University of Sydney Australia recently released the results of a study that was conducted in an effort to better understand problem gambling in the country. The new study reveals that sports betting has outpaced poker as the main culprit leading to gambling problems and so called gambling addiction.

The availability of internet sports betting and the range of betting options that has expanded greatly has made gambling a more difficult past time to control for those predisposed to problems with their wagering habits. Poker and other casino games do not have the same ‘addictive’ effect as sports betting which is sometimes driven by emotion and attachment to favourite teams or players. This particular study has changed some opinions about the internet and its influence on gamblers. Rather than blaming the internet for the rise in problems associated with gambling, analysts are saying its sports wagering that is causing the issues to surface. Proponents for ending the prohibition on online gambling in the USA find these results will give them ammunition to support their cause.

Gaming analyst Brad Dawkins, commented on the research findings, "It is clear from this study that online poker is not the threat that many lawmakers in the US make it out to be," Dawkins added,  "A regulated system would ensure that Americans are protected by rules that would not allow their betting to get to an addiction level."
Alex Blaszczynski, Psychology Professor at the University of Sydney, commented, "Problem gambling has certainly moved away from the traditional picture of a person sitting for hours on end at a poker machine,"


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