Debate On Internet Gambling Cafes in Illinois USA

Published Monday, October 14, 2013 -
Debate On Internet Gambling Cafes in Illinois USA

The Christian Science Monitor, says that online gambling, "allows easier, more anonymous accessibility to wagering than do casinos or lotteries. With the click of the mouse, a teenager at home could become a gambling addict, despite any promised safeguards."

The news is one sided but in some ways accurate but does this comment really reflect the whole picture with regards to a comparison between internet wagering and land based casinos and card rooms. The States have a number of different solutions for internet gamblers and in Illinois small cafes are the ticket. The internet café doesn’t look or sound anything like the casinos around the USA they are bright and described as ‘cozy’ place to meet with friends and enjoy a coffee or a glass of wine in a safe low key environment.

The proliferation of internet cafes in Illinois has been welcomed by local communities because they are unobtrusive and hidden without the impact of large and potentially damaging terrestrial casinos. The internet café has a special appeal for women who avoid bars where they feel they are doing something they shouldn’t.

Keith Whyte, Executive Director of the National Council on Problem Gambling, told The Tribune in Chicago, "They tell themselves they're just popping down to get a scone or see a friend or get some time away from the kids, but what they're really doing is engaging in the same kinds of activities as they would at a casino," Anita Bedell, head at the Illinois Church Action on Alcohol and Addiction Problems, mentioned that many women avoid pubs and bars, referring to internet café, "But these are labeled as country kitchens or upscale Starbucks, and that's why they're getting approved," Bedell continued, "They're coming into neighborhoods, by shopping malls and schools, and it's making gambling too accessible in communities."

A 2011 article by Harvard Medical School researchers Howard Shaffer and Ryan Martin in the Annual Review of Clinical Psychology concluded that "the rate of pathological gambling has remained relatively stable during the past 35 years despite an unprecedented increase in opportunities and access to gambling."

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