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The Rise in Online Mobile Gambling Puts Punters at Risk

February 19 Sandra Wong

Online gambling is perhaps the most lucrative business today. The mobile gaming industry has seen a boom with the rapid digitalization of the world. The advancement of mobile framework support and technical improvements in every sphere in the past decade has led to the growth of mobile gaming. As the electronic devices grow smarter, easier and more advanced, people are arming themselves with their laptops, smartphones, and tablets for gaming.

The evolution from land-based casinos to internet casinos has proved to be significantly profitable. Quite evidently, it has cut down on costs for machinery and other equipment like security camera and tables, etc., and also there is almost no money spent on staff. there is no need for dealers or bartenders. Most of these online websites provide its customers with all modern and traditional games with a range of diverse themes and brilliant graphics and animations. There are slots, roulette, poker, blackjack in addition to even tournaments that are not available in land-based casinos.  Web-based gambling found a massive breakthrough with its mobile optimization. There are no download slots which have made gambling a smooth experience. This has increased the player base. Making these games accessible to players online, generates a lot more revenue for the companies.

Is Mobile Gambling Convenient and Addictive?

Academics at Southern Cross University conducted a survey on online staking in Australia. They came up with three main reasons why mobile gambling had become so popular:

  • Online mobile gambling gave them the liberty to make bets wherever they felt like, be it from the comfort of their couches or on their way to school or work. It was highly convenient.
  • Secondly, users had 24-hour access to online betting platforms. All one needed is a stable and secure internet connection.
  • A section of the surveyed people claimed that the lack of interpersonal interaction, privacy and anonymity got them to gamble on phones and tablets.

Punters Are Exposed to Unaccounted Risks

  • A mere 10% of the internet gambling community is bothered about the authenticity of the gambling sites which makes them prone to the dangers of hacking, cheating, and fraud.
  • Also, with the development of online banking facilities and the tie-ups the online casinos have with them, it becomes easier for the punters to deposit and withdraw money. Hence, the customers are more likely to spend money.
  • It is not unknown to the world how harmful the radiations coming from the mobile phones and tablets are. Hence, somebody who is addicted to online mobile gambling can develop various health risks like cancer, neurological disorders, and insomnia. The users can also become prey to tragic accidents owing to the use of mobile phones while driving.
  • The odds are rarely in favour of the customers. So if you don’t gamble responsibly, your accounts might drain out completely.
  • Gambling can lead to failed relationships, lowered work productivity, job loss, crime, bankruptcy, and even depression.
  • Problem gamblers spend most of their time on their phones which makes eventually renders them unsocial and they live a life of isolation.

It has been estimated by the Productivity Commission that in 2009, almost $800 million was sent to offshore web-based betting forums which were supposed to be off-limits to Australian punters.

A Brief Case Study: Tony Muca

Tony Muca started gambling at the age of 13 with friends and evolved into a problem gambler when he turned 19. Initially, he had started gambling on the high street, but later he became an online gambler. In the 15 years of his excessive chronic gambling, he had lost a lot of money. His personal relationships got hampered too which had taken a drastic toll on him. He had started taking alcohol and drugs to counter his crunches.

Fortunately, he was able to curb his addictions and lead a healthier life.

Some Facts

  • Men, especially unmarried and unemployed, are more inclined to develop a gambling addiction than women.
  • According to a report by The Guardian, gambling addicts usually bet between the hours of midnight and 4 am, they make almost 90 bets a day and spend as much as  £98 a day. Gamblers not at the risk of developing an addiction spend a mere £14 a day on an average.
  • Approximately 4% of teenagers are pathological gamblers.

Is There Some Hope and Respite

Gambling activity can be a fun activity once in a while, but if one indulges extravagantly in betting, it can pose some serious threats. No, there is no cure for gambling addiction, but there are some steps that can be followed to break the gambling habit. Various therapy sessions like Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Treatment, psychotherapy and family therapy can be beneficial. Problem gamblers can even get to residential inpatient gambling addiction centres for their recovery.

 

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