Internet gambling: An overview of psychosocial impacts

Abstract

Technological innovation has always played a role in the development of gambling behaviour, primarily through providing new market opportunities. Early prevalence studies of Intemet gambling in the {UK}, Canada and the {US} have shown that Intemet gambling is not a eause for concern at present. However, this seems likely to change as more people start to use the Internet for leisure activities. After a brief overview of gambling technologies and deregulation issues, this paper examines the impact of technology on gambling by highlighting salient factors in the rise of Intemet gambling (i.e., accessibility, affordability, anonymity, convenience, escape immersion/dissociation, disinhibition, event frequency, asociability, interactivity, and simulation). The paper also overviews some of the main social impacts surrounding Intemet gambling, such as protection of the vulnerable, Intemet gambling in the workplace, electronic cash, and unscrupulous operators. Recommendations for Internet gambling operators are also provided.

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