Internet gambling: An online empirical study among student gamblers


It has been noted that the introduction of the Internet to gambling activities may change some of the fundamental situational and structural characteristics and make them potentially more addictive and/or problematic. This study examined some of the differences between Internet gamblers and non-Internet gamblers. Based on past literature it was hypothesised that (1) males would be significantly more likely to be Internet gamblers than females, (2) Internet gamblers would be significantly more likely to be problem gamblers than non-Internet gamblers, and (3) males would be significantly more likely to be problem Internet gamblers than females. A self-selected sample of 473 student respondents (213 males; 260 females) aged between 18 and 52 years (mean age =22 years; SD=5.7 years) participated in an online survey. All three hypotheses were confirmed. The results suggest the structural and situational characteristics of Internet gambling may be having a negative psychosocial impact on Internet gambling. This is most notably because of increased number of gambling opportunities, convenience, 24-h access and flexibility, increased event frequencies, smaller intervals between gambles, instant reinforcements, and the ability to forget gambling losses by gambling again immediately. It is suggested that further research needs to be carried out into the effects that the Internet has in facilitating gambling behaviour.

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