Experts have been trying to study the pattern of gambling addictions for several years. However, the data they accumulated wasn’t very reliable, because they had access to small sample sizes and couldn’t create reliable testing environments. The Harvard researchers were finally able to come up with a reliable testing methodology. They collaborated with Bwin to study tens of thousands of gamblers over a two year period.
The researchers found that the risks of problem gambling seem to be much lower than many people fear. Their study found that the vast majority of people gambled infrequently. Only 1-5% of the subjects they studied showed symptoms of gambling addictions.
The discrepancies between online and traditional gamblers were particularly telling. They found that online gamblers tend to have much more discipline. The average online casino player only spent 4.88 hours at the tables. They also wagered less than a dollar for every hour they were gambling.
There couple be a number of reasons that online gambling would be les addictive. The aesthetic designs of traditional casinos may be more likely to encourage people to gamble. People may also be carried away with the excitement of being with other people yelling around them.
Cameron Tung of The Atlantic said that this study refutes many of the claims critics have made against online gambling. Online gaming advocates can use this evidence to counter claims from the Coalition to Stop Internet Gambling.