Expanding the study of internet gambling behavior: Trends within the Icelandic lottery and sportsbetting platform

Abstract

As rates of Internet gambling participation increase worldwide, so too does the need to understand how people engage in this form of gambling. This study represents the first examination of actual Internet gambling records within Iceland, a Nordic country with an active Internet lottery market that imposes strict regulations on gambling operator licenses. We summarized electronic betting records of a cohort of subscribers to the Internet betting service provider Íslensk Getspá. We observed that the typical subscriber bet approximately 3 days per month and made fewer than two bets per gambling day, each worth approximately the equivalent of $4 US. Subscribers lost the bulk (96%) of the amount they wagered, for a total loss of approximately $40 across the 2-year window of observation. Although these observations do not support the view of Internet gambling as an activity that is inherently risky for the typical subscriber, we did observe discontinuity across the distributions of gambling behavior, with the top 1% of subscribers making more than three bets per day.

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