Problem Gambling on the Internet: Implications for Internet Gambling Policy in North America

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Wood, Robert T.
Williams, Robert J.
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Internet gambling is legal in many jurisdictions around the world, and observers predict that it is simply a matter of time before various North American governments, in Canada and the USA, take steps towards legalizing and regulating Internet gambling opportunities. Indeed, the proportion of North America gamblers who choose to gamble on the Internet is increasing at a dramatic rate. Unfortunately, however, relatively little is known about the characteristics of these individuals, or their propensity for problem gambling. Past studies predict that Internet gamblers are especially at risk for developing gambling problems, and that a substantial proportion of them already can be properly classified as problem or pathological gamblers. The present study investigates this issue using data collected from an Internet-based survey administered to 1920 American, Canadian, and International Internet gamblers. Confirming predictions of a relationship between Internet gambling and problem gambling, we find that 42.7% of the Internet gamblers in our sample can be classified as problem gamblers. In light of our findings, and bearing in mind recommendations made by other gambling researchers, we conclude with a discussion of issues and cautions for governments to heed when crafting Internet gambling policies.
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Internet gambling , Addiction , Canadian Problem Gambling Index (CPGI) , Gambling , Gaming , Internet , North America , Online , Policy , Problem
Wood, R. T., & Williams, R. J. (2007). Problem gambling on the Internet: Implications for Internet gambling policy in North America. New Media & Society, 9(3), 520-542. DOI: 10.1177/1461444807076987