Psychological Effects of Online Gambling

In a world where the Internet is used for almost every business, shopping and research activity, it is no surprise that many people gamble online. Some sites offer free play to introduce visitors to the games, but those who choose to wager real money must register and create an account with a unique user name and password to access the game software and place a bet. Some use high-technology software to give players the illusion of being inside a real casino or poker room.

Gambling has a number of effects that affect the individual and their family members. Some of these effects are physical while others have psychological implications. In general, gambling causes a person to lose control of their emotions and behaviors. As a result, people may develop an addiction to gambling. Some symptoms of a problem include financial problems, feelings of guilt and resentment, difficulty spending time with friends and family and a lack of energy or time to pursue activities such as exercise and hobbies.

Some experts believe that Internet gambling is more addictive than land-based gambling because of the ease and convenience of playing at home. In addition, some experts believe that the ability to make large wagers, continuous gambling and instant feedback are additional factors that contribute to excessive gambling behavior. Nevertheless, most studies assessing the relationship between Internet gambling and psychosocial problems have been cross-sectional in design, and most of the assessments are self-reports which are subject to bias.

The frequency of gambling and the amount of money gambled are higher for people who gamble online than those who do not. This is particularly true for those who gamble on poker, horse races and other sports. Other types of online gambling include betting on animals and bingo. Compared to non-Internet gamblers, people who gamble on the Internet are also more likely to have significant problems with anxiety.

Biological Causes of Online Gambling

Some researchers think that the addictive qualities of online gambling are caused by neurotransmitters, such as dopamine and serotonin, which are released during gaming. This release triggers the gambling urge and causes a person to want to experience the feeling again, so they continue gambling. Over time, the receptors for these chemicals weaken, so more and more gambling is needed to feel the same pleasure.

One study involving college students found that brief Internet interventions can reduce gambling problems. However, this study was limited by a small sample size, reliance on self-report, and short duration of follow-up. Therefore, it is unclear whether these findings are applicable to other populations. It is important for researchers to develop new approaches that are more effective than existing methods of reducing gambling problems. These should include identification of early risk indicators, a variety of different approaches to gambling prevention, and research on the effectiveness of these new approaches. These new approaches should be based on a multidisciplinary approach that includes psychology, medicine and social work.

Theme: Overlay by Kaira Extra Text
Cape Town, South Africa