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Online Casinos Irresistible For Problem Gamblers

It's a lot of fun to play in online casinos. You just log in to one of the 2,100 gambling sites that are available on the internet, make a first deposit and you can start gambling right away. There are no restrictions; you just need to be above 18 and the owner of a credit card. It all sounds wonderful, but for players that have a problem gambling history, these online casinos are an extreme threat.

One of the players that couldn't resist online casinos is 28-year-old Craig S. When he was younger, he loved to play the illegal slot machines in the cafeterias in his neighborhood on Pittsburgh's South Side, but in 1999, Craig stopped playing, went to law school and got married. A few years later, the trouble started when he discovered online gambling. He bought a laptop for his schoolwork and in no time, he was checking out the online casinos that offered free play. Craig was always a fan of the popular game Texas Hold-em, so he started playing the game in several different online casinos. After a while, he signed up to play for real money, seeking for more excitement. Once Craig started to borrow his wives credit card to deposit money, the real troubles began. He took off a couple of hours a week from school, sitting in his bedroom, playing poker in online casinos.

Craig started playing in poker tournaments, video slots and any other form of online gambling and free online slots. He won some money, but he lost a lot more. Eventually, Craig had to stop school, because he was missing too many classes and he lost so much money, that there was no way for him to pay back the online casinos in a reasonable amount of time.

Luckily, Craig was smart enough to recognize that he had gambling problems and he started to attend Gamblers Anonymous meetings to manage his online casinos addiction.

According to Keith Whyte, Executive Director of the National Council of Problem Gambling, 2% to 3% of the entire US population accounts for problem gamblers of offline and online casinos. Research shows that 1% of the population is considered pathological gamblers, but psychologists specialized in gambling addictions believe that his number is as high as 8 million. Whyte believes that thanks to online casinos, an increasing number of people that had gambling problems in the past will fall back into their old bad habits. He also believes that the players, who will get into gambling problems in online casinos, will make larger debts and therefore have bigger problems than in the past.

Whyte's organization doesn't want to ban online casinos, but it would like to be able to assist problem gamblers better in controlling their problems. Whyte believes that the online casinos themselves have excellent opportunities to take care of their players and make sure that problem gamblers won't be allowed at their online casinos and that no one will pass their financial limit.


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