Online Gaming: Addictive or Not?
With hundreds of online gambling casinos available today, there is an on-going question as to whether or not this form of gaming has become addictive. The answer may surprise you. Recently, two independent researchers concluded their studied on this question and the both states that more online gambling on online casinos does not cause more addiction. Furthermore, the results show that “online gamblers use more restraint and control than players in land-based casinos.” The first study was conducted by Harvard Medical School’s Division of Addictions in the US and the second research study was done by the National Responsible Gambling Program of South Africa. Despite the notion that online gambling would increase addictive behavior, the opposite was found to be true. In the South African study, not coincidentally, the exact same finding was made with one exception. The researcher found that the regulation of online casinos may be called for to “restrict accounts to maximum gambling amounts.” This would decrease the danger of addictive behavior by those who were considered to be more likely to become addictive to gaming. In the Harvard study, it was determined that online gamblers do not spend an excessive amount of time in online casinos. To the contrary, the conclusion was they gamble “in a very moderate and mild way.” Moreover, although it was expected that online gaming numbers would increase, the study revealed that there was a decline in the overall number indicating that addictive behavior was not at all evident. Howard Shaffer, Associated Professor at Harvard, cited that the “correlation analysis indicated that as per cent lost increased, duration, total gambling sessions and total amount wagered decreased.” This study composed of 95% male with a median average of 27.9 years of age. The study was based on a poker player who was active for a little over six months and played every three days on average. In addition, it was found that the behavior of those who played poker more often represented only 5% of all players were actively engaged for a total of 18 months with ten sessions per week. However, this group lost less than the majority of players since they were more skilled at the game. The conclusion drawn from this study group was that those who were highly proficient at playing poker were likely to spend more time at online gaming casinos as opposed to those who were not as skilled and tended to gamble less as the amount of losses increased. Thus, the claim that online gaming is addictive has not been born out by the findings presented thus far. In fact, further evidence has suggested that traditional gambling casinos present a more viable scenario causing addictive gambling than online casinos .
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