The gambler can gamble in front of the home computer without the need of a fellow human being or closing the casino. The providers also know who they are most likely to fall for: young adults are more susceptible to gambling via the Internet. Lotto is harder in the age group.
According to experts, gambling on the Internet is far more of a risk of addiction than in casinos. The psychologist Chantal Mörsen from the University of Mainz warned:”At home at the computer, the people affected are completely out of control. Gambling on the Internet is available 24 hours a day, most of the time even the family doesn’t notice when a player falls for it.
According to current studies, there are 250,000 gambling addicts in Germany, which corresponds to the number of drug addicts or alcohol addicts. Mörsen is an expert at the “Symposium Glücksspiel 2008” of the Research Center for Gambling at the University of Stuttgart – Hohenheim. On Thursday and Friday, experts will discuss the implementation of the State Treaty on Gaming and the latest findings of gambling research.
Life is subordinate to the game
According to Mörsen, morbid gambling addiction is characterised above all by the fact that players subordinate their whole life to the game. “The financial burdens are increasing, social relationships are being separated – and the game continues.” Quite often the whole thing leads to hopelessness and resignation. “In such situations, the risk of suicide increases.”
There is still no boom in online gambling in Germany,”Mörsen reported. Nevertheless, the danger is still great. “Especially because gambling addiction on the Internet can develop very erratically.” While an addiction to the slot machines in the casino is developing slowly due to social control, it is usually very fast on the Internet. “Also because the players can stay on for 24 hours and bet winnings right back in.” Being able to instantly bet on the next goal scorer, the fastest of the next round or something like that is a special attraction at sporting events.
According to Mörsen, online gambling is also so dangerous because it targets the social group that is most likely to be addicted to gambling: young adults. “They’re trying everything. They also lack experience in how best to deal with their stress and problems,”said Mörsen. Younger people responded more readily to offers that they felt could help them in the short term.
The most dangerous are always the gambling offers that yielded direct profit, such as slot machines in the casino. In the lottery, the risk of addiction is relatively low because players have to wait a long time for their winnings. However, lotteries and other lotteries could represent an entrance into gambling addiction, especially for young people and young adults.