Problem gamblers likely to use modern technology to gamble

A new study reveals that people at risk of developing a gambling problem are likely to use technology such as the internet, radio, television or their mobile phone when buying gambling products.

A literature review and a survey carried out as part of a 2010 study, Gambling and the Impact of New and Emerging Technologies and Associated Products, finds that such technology offers ready access to gambling activities (also known as interactive gambling) without the need for individuals to visit a gaming venue to pay for the product.

The study aimed to assess the use of technology - internet, mobile phone, radio and television – for leisure purposes within Australia and to consider whether individuals at risk of developing gambling problems also have problems controlling their use of such technology.

Prize shows, home shopping, reality television voting and SMS calculation services are all found to attract the interest of problem gamblers and those who have problems controlling their technology use.

Data studied by the Monash University and the University of Sydney research team suggests that a person’s ability to control their impulses is one of the factors predicting use of interactive services.

The survey data reveals that the factors contributing to a willingness to participate in online gambling are a strong interest in gambling or poor impulse control as indicated by problems restraining one’s technology use.

Nevertheless, the researchers admit that if a person is having a problem controlling their technology use it does not necessarily lead to an increase in online gambling.

Visit the Gambling Research Australia website for the full report.

01.04.11