Analyzing real online gambling behavior: A position paper on opportunities and limitations [German]


Aim: This position paper deals with possibilities and limitations of the actual playing behavior in general and more specific if it is an appropriate alternative to the current assessment and screening instrument in order to identify problem or pathological gambling. Method: Method, results and limitations of former surveys concerning the playing and betting behavior of Internet gambling are introduced and discussed. Results: Each of the survey offers important findings. Yet, there is no identification of at-risk players possible without having a definition of problem playing behavior or gambling behavior at risk. There is only one of the presented studies which satisfies this requirement. Conclusions: The analysis of the actual online gambling behavior offers different and new research possibilities due to unbiased information. In particular it is a new way of identifying people with gambling problems. That does not hold, though, for skill games like poker where the influence of skill is large enough that professionals can play with a positive expected value and win in the long run. In these cases the betting behavior of the players has to be analyzed in detail, in order to distinguish between professional and pathological gamblers.

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