Over the past decade, the demand for gambling industry has risen at an exponential rate. The content has steadily upsurge instantly via the internet. With the British Gambling Prevalence Study 2010, the online gambling has efficiently driven to be a popular activity registering 14% of participants surveyed had benefitted the internet to gamble in the recent past. There are varied reasons why online gambling has gained traction for some over conventional gambling such as anonymity, permanent availability and increased speed of play response. The ability to gamble from the comfort of your own home has also been cited as a reason to gamble online. Indeed, these improvements in accessibility
Over the past decade, the demand for gambling industry has risen at an exponential rate. The content has steadily upsurge instantly via the internet. With the British Gambling Prevalence Study 2010, the online gambling has efficiently driven to be a popular activity registering 14% of participants surveyed had benefitted the internet to gamble in the recent past. There are varied reasons why online gambling has gained traction for some over conventional gambling such as anonymity, permanent availability and increased speed of play response. The ability to gamble from the comfort of your own home has also been cited as a reason to gamble online. Indeed, these improvements in accessibility and ease of betting are some of the reason why online gambling can be more addictive and mostly done by many than conventional gambling, especially in young gamblers.
There are several factors that could signal problem gambling amongst online gamblers. Participants that are engaged in two or more activities online or in certain activities, such as poker, sport betting or action are more likely to be problem gamblers. Also, participants that owned multiple online accounts were more involved gamblers and engaged in gambling more frequently with higher rates of gambling problems. Interestingly, multiple account holders are engaged with websites based on price, betting options and payout methods versus legality and consumer protection features that would be characteristic of single account holders. It has been noted that state licensed websites for online gambling cause less overall harm and that rates of sub-clinical disordered gambling were higher in environments with less strict regulation of advertising for online gambling.
According to the overall scenario, 209 participants engaged in the online survey; among these one participant was excluded as they only responded with the demographic questions. Overall 208 participant’s responses were analyzed. The survey was online from December 2014 to June 2015 and was advertised online and with general media outlets. An information sheet preceded taking the survey including information on what the research is about, the reason for conducting the research how the data will be used, how privacy of data will be maintained, the benefits and risks of taking part in the survey, information about if you change your mind during the survey and finding out about the results of the survey, along with contact details for further information.
The survey of online gambling consisted of demographic data questions and is designed with 11 main categories of questions related to gambling adapted from a similar UK study. In terms of demographic data, there were questions on age, residential country and gender. In terms of questions related to gambling there were questions pertaining to the activities gambled online such as poker, sport betting, horse racing, spread betting, lottery, blackjack, dog racing, bingo, fruit machine, roulette, instant win scratch cards. This question was measured on a Likert scale ranging from ‘never’ to ‘most days’. The devices used to gamble online such as desktop, mobile app, laptop, tablet and duration of time spent gambling, in terms of average session length and years spent gambling online, were also measured. The survey also contained questions regarding reasons for gambling online to win money, enjoyment, access, convenience, availability, challenge, bet at own pace, better value, comfort, bet in play, stimulation, anonymity, competition, greater flexibility in stake size, free bets, dislike atmosphere in offline venues, high speed of play online, safer, escape, offline venues too far away, spend less online, multiple games, influenced by others, adverts, free practice games and other and reasons for ending a gambling session won a lot of money, tiredness, frustration, boredom, had something else to do, lost too much money, reached a target, run out of money. There was also data collected on the aspects important to people when choosing a gambling app or website recommendations, variety of games, advertisements, celebrity endorsement, ease of use, free offers, brand name, graphics, friends use it. The emotions experienced when gambling online were also assessed excitement, happy, no difference, frustrated, escape, anger, ashamed, empty, lonely, irritable, relaxed, euphoria, other as well as the severity and impact of gambling online has had on the participant in the previous 12 months borrowing money, financial problems, health problems, gambling larger amounts, felt that you might have a problem with gambling, betting more than can afford, criticized for having a gambling problem, felt guilty about your gambling, trying to win back lost money. Participants were also asked about previous treatments, if any, were received for gambling addiction. Participants were also asked to answer questions around statements pertaining to gambling and their attitude around gambling. These 18 statements have previously been used in research around gambling and online gambling and answered on a Likert scale ranging from ‘disagree strongly’ to ‘agree strongly’.
The variables generally include activities gambled online, reasons for gambling online, device used to gambling online, average gambling session time, duration gambling online, severity of gambling, reasons for choosing website, emotions experienced gambling online, reasons to end gambling sessions, and attitude statements around gambling.
In the survey, participants were asked to provide a feedback on a number of statements about online gambling, rating each on a 5-point Likert scale ranging from ‘agree’ to ‘disagree’. The statement that participants agreed was ‘The potential dangers of gambling should advertised with 39.9% (83 participants) stating that they ‘Agree”. This is mainly followed by ‘Some gambling websites are more trustworthy than others’ (58 participants) and ‘I would prefer to gamble on websites that regularly tell me how much I’ve lost’ (54 participants). Moreover, the statements that participants least agreed with were mainly attracted by the sound effects on gambling websites and prefer large jackpots in the online games.