Gaming and gambling addiction: scientists dispelled the myth

Ludomania, or gambling addiction, belongs to the class of non-chemical addictions. It’s usually equated with the dependence on purchases or food.

Gambling involves certain risks, and the most dangerous of them in many countries is considered to be gambling addiction. Major operators, gambling regulators, and governments in many countries are considering ways to minimize this kind of risk. However, scientists have proved that the number of people suffering from gambling problem doesn’t depend on the extent of gambling prevalence.

There’s a number of factors that contribute to the development of addiction, among them – the presence of other addictions and a hereditary predisposition to mental disorders, loneliness, a feeling of dissatisfaction, as well as the desire to get rich without doing anything. Most adults place bets or gamble. Firstly, because it’s an opportunity to earn money, and secondly because people by nature are prone to excitement and like to take risks.

Over the past decade, online gambling has grown tremendously in North America. Many states have approved measures to legalize several types of gambling. It would be logical to assume that over the past ten years the number of people with gambling problem should also increase. However, the staff at the Buffalo Research Institute (RIA) claim this statement to be wrong.

Researchers asked participants if they were gambling, and if the answer was yes? what games were preferable. The survey concerned different types of gambling such as remote gambling, betting on horse racing and dog racing, as well as betting on various sports that are held on specialized platforms on the Internet. According to the results of the study, despite the fact that over the past decade, online gambling has increased several times, the number of problem players has remained unchanged.

Using a number of different criteria, the researchers did not reveal statistically significant changes in the indicators of problem and pathological gambling.

Media often publish reports that women are more prone to gambling addiction. However, according to studies, men are two times more prone to addiction. This is partly due to the fact that they are much less likely to seek help from specialists because they do not perceive dependence as a problem. Partly – because they are trying to hide socially unattractive activities.

According to the survey, the prevalence of problem gambling among women has gone down. Over the past 10 years, it has decreased from 2,9 to 2,5%.

Researchers also found that gambling engagement rates declined overall. Between 1999 and 2000, 82,2% of respondents said that they were gambling. Nevertheless, between 2011 and 2013 only 76,9% confirmed their participation in gambling activities. In addition, over the past ten years, the average number of days respondents spent time on gambling has significantly decreased.

Not all types of gambling games lead to gambling addiction. Responsible gambling is very real, and many gambling sites adhere to a policy that aims to provide players with the opportunity to enjoy the game without the risk of addiction.