Over the last few years UK gambling turnover has soared from £2 billion to £50 billion between 2001 and 2005, and online gambling is responsible for much of that growth.
On the 1st of September 2007 The Gambling Act 2005 comes in to force, among its affects will be allowing online Gambling companies to advertise on television, and despite its commitment to “socially responsible gambling” opinion about its impact is divided, particularly over Internet gambling.
While some might see this as a democratisation brought by market forces, others point out that its now much easier for people to play whether or not they can afford to, and it’s the instantaneous “buzz” of these games that make it hard to stop playing
At the University of Birmingham, researchers have been studying online gambling with mixed feelings:
University of Birmingham academic, Professor
Jim Orford, is an expert on addiction, who has been consulting on a national review of online gambling, which has studied 10,000 people to assess attitudes to gambling.
He finds the online gambling trend particularly worrying, because it allows continuous rapid play and people can learn whether they have won or lost and then instantly replay which is associated with addiction.
Online its hard to control who has access, so the fear is that familiarity with the internet may lead younger people to get involved.
The results will be published at the end of September, only then will we see whether by liberalising the gambling industry, the government has itself taken a gamble with public well-being.
Jim Orford, School of Psychology University of Birmingham Dr Russell Beale, School of Computer Science, university of Birmingham
High Street bookies exts
Man in online sites
Exts Computer Science