Oxford study finds online casinos less addictive than traditional gambling

Published on November 17, 2016 in Industry News

Traditional vs online gambling addictionA recent study done by the Oxford University Internet Institute shows that online gambling is much less addictive than traditional gaming.
 

The study

Researchers at Oxford interviewed 18,932 women and men living in the United Kingdom, United States, Germany, and Canada in an attempt to learn more about their internet gaming habits. The research was published in the American Journal of Psychiatry.

When questioned about the symptoms of “internet gaming disorder“ (as defined by the American Psychiatric Association) more than half of the respondents claimed that they played recently. However only two to three percent said that they experienced five or more of the symptoms.
 

“Only 0.5 to one percent of the players experienced ‘significant distress’ where they weren’t able to control their online play.”

In a recent British Gambling Prevalence Survey, it was discovered that 2.6 percent of brick-and-mortar gamblers aged 18-24 experienced significant gambling problems.
 

Internet gambling

Internet games such as online slots and other games found at online casinos are becoming one of the most popular relaxation activities. The low problem gaming incidences online might influence the internet gambling and poker movement in 2017 in the US. According to the Oxford Internet Institute lead, Dr. Andrew Przybylski it is important not to jump to conclusions and assume that if 160 million Americans play at online casinos that only 1 million of them could become addicted. He continued that the great majority of games didn’t show any symptoms that could be linked to addictive gaming behaviour.
 

Difference in opinion

Anti-online poker critics like Las Vegas Sands Billionaire, Sheldon Adelson stand by the famous “click your mouse, lose your house” mantra. These anti-online casino critics fully believe that the easy accessibility of online slots and games could lead to serious consequences for anyone who could easily become addicted. 

Interestingly enough the Oxford Study which was one of the biggest when it comes to sampling size wasn’t the first study concluding that internet gambling is not as dangerous as we are led to believe.

A study done by Harvard Medical School’s Division on Addiction in 2014 followed the habits of 3,445 online poker players on a bwin.com platform. The study concluded that the more players lost, the more they started moderating their gambling. The study shows that most individuals limited their gambling according to their wins and losses which could be considered rational betting behaviour.

The Oxford study didn’t just look at betting games, it took into account all forms of internet gaming which includes online casino games that don’t include real money wagers. Przybylski said that during the study they could not find a significant link between potential addiction and negative effects on health. He ended off by saying that they needed more research in “open and robust scientific practices”.
 

Youth at risk?

According to England’s Action for Children Charity, 25 percent of parents find their children’s time in front of computers and mobile devices to be their biggest concern. This was revealed only a day after the release of Oxford’s Internet gaming findings. 

Dr. Aric Sigman told the UK’s Observer newspaper that whether it is an addiction or not, it is a giant, growing problem.