Thoughts – Connections
Among the 8.1 percent who said they had Internet wagering experience, 74 percent were classified by psychologists as “problematic” or “pathological” gamblers.
Nearly half of the Internet gamblers said they played weekly.
The availability of Internet gambling draw individuals who seek out isolated and anonymous contexts for their gambling behaviors.
A study warned that the growth of the Internet will likely lead to more online gambling and the health and emotional disorders that often accompany gambling disorders, including substance abuse, circulatory disease, depression and risky sexual behavior.
Nancy Petry, coauthor of research, stated, “Younger people tend to be involved in risk-taking behavior. They have higher rates of gambling in general. Younger people are more likely to use computers.
Users between ages 25 and 54 are most likely to visit gambling sites.
Media Metrix said the number of unique visitors on just 64 casino sites in December, 2001 was 13.6 million.
David Robertson, former chairman of the National Coalition Against Legalized Gambling, agreed that Internet gambling is a problem that only promises to hook many more gamblers into a life of addiction.
A story published on National Journal’s Technology Daily reported that the online gaming industry is growing quickly. It quoted a Bear Sterns study predicting an estimated 1,200 to 1,400 online gaming sites that could generate about $5 billion by 2003. In 1999, Bear Sterns reported the number of gambling sites was about 700.
Co-chairman of the House Internet Caucus, Rep. Bob Goodlatte, Virginia, is sponsoring a bill that would create Internet infrastructure that blocks any casino Web site’s ability to accept payments by credit card or the transfer of electronic funds.