Online sports betting has created new generation of problem gamblers

Mar 14, 2011

Alex Blaszczynski, Professor of Psychology at the University of Sydney, says there is a trend toward online sports betting which has altered the pattern of problem gambling presentations at the various University's Gambling Treatment Clinic.

The internationally recognised expert says:

"Problem gambling has certainly moved away from the traditional picture of a person sitting for hours on end at a poker machine.

"While we are still seeing these clients, we are seeing that young men in particular are turning to gambling on sports. These young men are reporting difficulties controlling their internet-based sports betting in increasing numbers.

"Looking at our client numbers, we had approximately a 70 percent increase in the number of sports betting clients from 2008-2009 to 2010-2011."

The figures are not difficult to explain, says Professor Blaszczynski. "With more and more people gaining access to higher internet speeds, and wireless internet via their , you can literally gamble anytime, anywhere.

"Obviously all this makes it easier for people to gamble and increase their risk of higher rates of .

"With the footy season soon underway we are expecting to see a raise in the young male clients present with these problems."

Christopher Hunt, at the University of Sydney Gambling Treatment Clinic, said a few years ago the majority of the people who visited the clinic gambled only on poker machines.

"However today, we are seeing many young men, who are losing large sums of money from betting on sports over the internet. They can literally lose a fortune without even leaving the comfort of their own home."

Mr. Hunt notes a link between this rise and the increased promotion of gambling through the sports media. "It is difficult to watch most kinds of sporting matches these days without being made aware of the prices that various outlets are giving for bets," he says.

"In this environment it is natural that many people with an interest in sports may try their luck by gambling on the sports they enjoy. Unfortunately some of these people will lose more than they planned to and become problem gamblers".

Explore further: 'Brain training' overcomes tics in Tourette syndrome, study finds

Provided by University of Sydney

5 /5 (1 vote)
add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

High hopes turn poker machine players into problem gamblers

Aug 14, 2007

There are around 300,000 problem gamblers in Australia. For gambling researchers, one of the biggest questions is why so many people seem unable to control their gambling behaviour, despite the harmful impact on their lives.

No limit to pokies problem

Jan 08, 2010

Problem gamblers are being created at a rate of almost one for every new poker machine introduced, new research has found.

Estimated 750,000 problem gamblers among America's youth

May 06, 2008

Gambling activity is widespread among U.S. adolescents and young adults ages 14 through 21, according to a study conducted by researchers at the University at Buffalo’s Research Institute on Addictions (RIA).

Recommended for you

Religious music brings benefit to seniors' mental health

9 hours ago

A new article published online in The Gerontologist reports that among older Christians, listening to religious music is associated with a decrease in anxiety about death and increases in life satisfaction, self-e ...

User comments : 0

More news stories

Treating depression in Parkinson's patients

A group of scientists from the University of Kentucky College of Medicine and the Sanders-Brown Center on Aging has found interesting new information in a study on depression and neuropsychological function in Parkinson's ...

Impact glass stores biodata for millions of years

(Phys.org) —Bits of plant life encapsulated in molten glass by asteroid and comet impacts millions of years ago give geologists information about climate and life forms on the ancient Earth. Scientists ...