Recently the airwaves and social media platforms as well as searches have sparked with debate since the D0J changed a well informed opinion about the Federal Wire Act. These recent changes have been giving way to states in the U.S., in particular Connecticut, allowance on whether regulations and licenses will be approved to allow intrastate online gambling.
On the other end of positive changes reflecting in legalizing and regulating online gambling is the negative; these negatives are of the opinion that only bad and greater addictions will mature from within the future of legalized online gambling.
I searched and found many interesting opinions on why they believe this would cause even more gambling addictions in states in the U.S. and I personally am not convinced that the theories and research provided are valid to blame the recent changes by the DoJ.
For instance if you read Dr. Petry’s quote below it is not in any way a convincing argument, I feel more research should be gathered, more factual evidence should be provided before voices are allowed to be heard in the media against the possibility of legalizing online gambling…but then again this is just an opinion of one, so please read on and give voice to this topic of interest. We would love to hear what you have to say!
We will first take the opinions and experiences of Joe Turbessi, a UConn Poker Addict that is against the legalization of online poker. Turbessi, missed classes, emptied his bank account and gambled his way sleeplessly through the University of Connecticut stating, “The only thing that ran through my mind was the next poker hand.” “Poker had my attention and I didn’t have time to do anything else.” “It was so easy. I couldn’t miss a hand. If I didn’t have the computer on, I could miss my lucky break.”
Recently, a news publication expressed that as Connecticut begins debating legalizing online gambling — and Gov. Dannel P. Malloy has signaled he’s more than ready to consider it — Turbessi’s message has taken on new urgency.
Now let’s turn our attention to another local advocate of Connecticut who warns again of the dangers of online gambling…one Marvin Steinberg, Executive Director of the Connecticut Council on Problem Gambling. Steinberg has been a vocal and persistent advocate for gambling addicts in need of treatment.
Here Steinberg says, “There’s always a new twist, a new way to gamble,” “It’s very seductive. When people are able to do this from their home, you’re going to have an issue with problem gamblers and with people turning to this who don’t normally gamble.”
He also pushed for Connecticut to create a gambling treatment program of its own and set up one of the first problem gambling help lines in the country.
“I would always reach out to Marvin to find out the possible negative side to any expansion of gambling,” says state Rep. Stephen D. Dargan, D-West Haven, co-chairman of the legislative committee that oversees gambling. “Marvin has educated me about the importance of being on the front lines of helping people get treatment.”
Now on to our third and final analyses where some are asking the question, “Is Gambling More Addictive Online?”
Earlier this week, Gov. Dannel P. Malloy announced that he was exploring the possibility of legalizing various forms of online gambling in Connecticut which caused a swarm of mixed emotions.
Because online gambling is relatively new researchers say there are a number of questions about its potential dangers and whether online gambling poses psychological problems different from those related to traditional forms of gambling.
Nancy Petry, a psychologist at the University of Connecticut, said a few patterns have so far emerged.
“We’re finding that only a small proportion of gamblers do so online, but of these people, the vast majority do have gambling problems,” said Petry. She said one of the main questions is whether online gambling is creating more gambling addiction or simply serving as another outlet for addicts.
Petry, one of the first researchers to study online gambling, said gambling addicts may have problems that parallel those of problem drinkers. “It’s similar to drinking — when you’re developing a drinking problem you’re doing it socially,” she said, but many alcoholics eventually turn to drinking alone at home. When gambling at home on a computer, “there are none of the social sanctions” of real-world settings, she said, and that makes it easier to go overboard.
David Hodgins, a professor of psychology at the University of Calgary, said one of the next questions to tackle is what role online gambling has in a developing an addiction. “It’s not clear where the chicken or the egg is,” he said.
More online gambling, he said, will likely complicate the treatment of those with a gambling addiction.
“It makes gambling more accessible, and when people are struggling to overcome gambling, putting distance between you and gambling online makes that difficult,” he said.
Steinberg said online gambling tends to attract the same personality type who gravitate toward slot machines in casinos — a subset of gamblers particularly susceptible to gambling problems.
“Problem gamblers are people who like to escape and isolate themselves,” he said. “When they get into casinos, they go to slot machines where they’re in their own world and don’t get interrupted. Online gambling is pretty much you and the machine and you’re alone. People don’t have parties to gamble online — psychologically, it’s more isolated.
In no way, shape or form am I taking gambling addiction lightly, the importance of gambling addiction is treating the root of the problem and not on speculation as to where an addict could possibly find a new avenue to delve within their addiction; figure out the root of the problem, end the addiction…
What say you the people?
Reported by guest blogger, Virgil L. Hill