Internet self-exclusion: Characteristics of self-excluded gamblers and preliminary evidence for its effectiveness

Abstract

Preliminary scientific evidence indicates that online gamblers are more likely to be problem gamblers and thus point to the need for effective protection measures. This study focuses on an online self-exclusion program and seeks to comprehensively examine the benefits of this measure. It was intended to collect detailed information on the characteristics of self-excluded internet gamblers and to examine the benefits of online self-exclusion over time. The baseline sample consisted of a total of N=259 internet gamblers who self-excluded from the online gambling platform win2day.at. Descriptive analyses indicate that a significant percentage of respondents had gambled excessively on the internet. Follow-up surveys 1, 6, and 12 month(s) after the initiation of self-exclusion with a small sub-sample (n=20) suggest that the temporary restriction of access to one single online gambling site can indeed have favorable psycho-social effects. The article concludes with a discussion of how self-exclusion practices on the internet can be improved.

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