May Fuel Gambling Addictions
have shown that more gamblers who bet in online casinos have
gambling addictions than those who bet in regular casinos.
This statistic becomes apparent when we read stories in the
newspapers of gamblers who have blown thousands of dollars of
their own money and sometimes other people's money to fuel their
In England, a 23 year old man is in court for stealing £1
million ($1.85 million) from the company he worked for and blew
the lot playing poker and sports betting in online casinos. The
man had worked for the same construction firm since he was 17
balancing the books. He managed to siphon off the money by
making electronic transfers, by writing checks to himself and
withdrawals. Some days he was stealing up to £17,000 ($31,000).
The company didn't find out until they received a tax bill. When
they tried to pay, there were insufficient funds in the account.
After they investigated, they found that there was £400,000
($740,000) missing from the account. Because of the money lost
to online casinos the company has gone into administration and
jobs have been cut.
A similar story occurred in Scotland, where a 25 year old man
stole 13 of his parent's credit cards and blew £158,000
($290,000) in just over one hour in online casinos.
Many lawyers in the UK and North America are reporting a rise in
numbers of bankruptcies due to gambling addictions in online
casinos and many different proposals have stemmed from this
debate, such as putting caps on the amount of money that can be
bet in online casinos or allowing one credit card per person in
There is much talk of measures to stop gambling in online
casinos but most experts believe that this is not the way to go.
They explain that the problem must be dealt with from the root.
That is recognising who is at risk from gambling addiction and
helping them overcome the problem. Banning online casinos will
not make the problem go away.
The online casinos industry pays £3 million a year into gambling
addiction programs and research for the prevention of gambling
At the moment there are no solid statistics, but a major study
is underway from the University of Las Vegas and Nottingham
Trent University in the UK to research online casinos. 20,000
gamers will be given extensive questionnaires to ascertain who
they are, what drives them and their general financial well
being. It is hoped that the outcome of this survey will paint a
clearer picture of online casinos, those who game in them and
what can be done to protect gamblers in online casinos.
By banning online casinos the issue of gambling addiction will
not go away. Instead, the issue should be approached by helping
those vulnerable to deal with their addiction. It is not
possible to remove casinos, slot machines and the lottery so
they may not be tempted in the future.