We recently reported on a study that claimed that online gambling rates are dropping in Australia, primarily due to a lower interest amongst young people. However, a recent study released by the South Australia State Government sheds a different light as pertaining to online gambling.
According to the study reported on by Casino Guardian, online gambling has risen sharply since 2012. The study also claims that online gamblers are more prone to gambling addiction.
Online Gambling Rates Nearly Triple Since 2012
The South Australia State Government has released the results of a gambling study into gambling trends. That data has subsequently revealed some of what we already expected. Since 2013, online gambling rates in Australia have nearly tripled from 5% of the State’s population to 13%. Back in 2005, just 1% of the popular gambled online.
The study researched the gambling trends of 20,000 people to get the data. This increase in online gambling is not that surprising to anyone that knows the online gaming industry and online gaming in general. The explosion of mobile gaming sites has made it easier than ever for players to gamble online. They are no longer handcuffed to a PC or laptop for gaming and its easier than ever to play from your smartphone or tablet.
Online Gamblers More Likely to Become Addicted
One of the interesting stats is that 9.6% of those studied can be classified as problem gamblers. If that rate sounds a bit high, that’s because it is nearly three times that of what is seen in standard gambling avenues. The study also claims that those that gamble online are likely to become more addicted to gambling than any other forms of gambling.
What is surprising about about this claim is that it asserts that almost one in five online punters gamble over 25 times a year. This is compared to just ten times for those that don’t gamble online. While that sounds a bit high, that averages out at just a little more than 2 times a month.
We’d like to see more data on these players with 25 or more gambling sessions. What were they betting? What forms of betting were they taking part in?
Study Claims Link Between Physical Health and Problem Gambling
One part of the study looked at the link between physical health and online gambling addiction. According to the survey results, those in poor health are ten times more likely to become addicted to online gambling. Those in fair health were nine times more likely. Players classified in good health were just 3.5 times more likely to become addicted.
Michelle Lesink, Human Services Minister for South Australia, commented on the data and claims that the popularity of online gambling is based entirely on the accessibility of online casinos. Calling this concerning, she said that the South Australian government needs to come up with additional services to help problem gamblers.
In addition to those in poor health, Lesink claims that the following groups were likely to become problem gamblers:
- Players Under 24
- Unemployed Players
- Single Players
- Separated Players
- Divorced Players
Lesink hopes that the survey will help authorities and other to spot and help problem gamblers. It is hoped it will also provide better options for those seeking help to battle problem gambling.
Again, we would like to see more data about those players that are classified as problem gamblers in the study. The primary reason is that the percentage seems a bit high and may be a bit skewed based on how they classify problem gambling tendencies.
However, that is not to downplay the seriousness of problem gambling. If you find that you are having a problem with gambling online, we urge you to seek help from a qualified organisation.