Who Plays Internet Gambling Games
Many people choose to gamble for fun, enjoyment, and the opportunity to hit the jackpot. In the last decade, online gambling became available to a wide range of customers. In 2011, gambling was the fastest growing entertainment category in the US with nearly 10 million users, according to Comscore. In this article, you will find out about those who play internet gambling in the USA and who helped this niche valued at more than $65 billion in 2020.
Who Plays Internet Gambling Games Most Often
With the appearance of slot machines and other games in online casinos, different categories of the population play them. However, we will consider the groups of people who gamble the most.
The Popularity of Gambling Among Teenagers
In 2001, there was no regulation of gambling sites; teenagers could freely register and spend real money there. Many non-gambling resources contain links to online casinos, so young users can easily find them.
Unregulated sites rarely publish messages that gambling is prohibited for teenagers.
Before the UIGEA was adopted in 2006, more than 1 million young users gambled monthly, according to research by the Annenberg Center for Public Policy at the University of Pennsylvania. After the implementation of the law, this figure fell to 1.5%.
Online gambling is more attractive due to the faster gameplay and the possibility of instant winnings. They lure with anonymity, bonuses, and quick access anywhere. Online players seeking help in an organization are usually younger than visitors of land-based casinos; the average age is 31.7 years.
There was also the South Oaks Gambling Screen (SOGS) test aimed to determine the potential for gambling addiction. The average score of people playing on the Internet was 7.8. The researchers divided all respondents into several levels depending on the number of points on the SOGS scale:
- From 0 to 2 — no problems with gambling.
- From 3 to 4 — problems are possible.
- From 5 and greater — high probability of addiction.
74% of online casino customers turned out to be at levels 2 and 3. Local hospitals helped with the study: in the waiting rooms, patients were offered to take the SOGS test. The results showed that out of 1,414 respondents, 2.8% frequently played online. Almost 2/3 of them were problem gamblers.
Then, the researchers studied medical records and found out that this category of people has more mental problems, they are more likely to use psychoactive drugs.
This category includes minors, low-income people who are trying to solve their financial difficulties and get “easy” money, and people with mental disorders and addiction tendencies (drugs, alcohol). Among teenagers, the most vulnerable are those who already play computer games, so it was easier to attract them to gambling sites.
Why Young People Often Gamble
With the legalization of gambling, slot machines have become actively advertised. Today, 48 states allow various games of chance. Online casinos are advertised on radio, TV, billboards and, of course, on the Internet. Movies and TV shows where players hit multimillion-dollar jackpots, beat rivals in poker, get rich, and live a luxurious life also contribute to the growth in popularity.
Modern society dictates its own rules, and teenagers strongly fall for them. There are several reasons why they embark on the path of gambling:
- Glamor and luxury.
- The desire to make fast money.
- Gambling sensations.
- Convenient access to gambling sites.
- Advice from peers recommending getting rid of boredom and depression.
This problem is especially prevalent on college campuses. Teenagers often play card games in hostels and pubs.
50% of the 16 million people in the United States who have a gambling addiction are young, according to a Columbia University Medical Center study.
Fast wins increase self-esteem, while failures provoke depression and anxiety. This is followed by the sale of property, debt, or even theft. Also, young players can continue to play hoping that they will win their money back.
Those who play internet gambling games from a young age are more likely to get addicted. Young players believe in victory more than adults. Another key factor is parents who do not stop their children’s attempts to play for real money in time.
Protecting teenagers from gambling is hard due to simple access to desktop PCs and mobile devices. Just a couple of mouse clicks, and you are on a website with thousands of slot machines, card games, and table games.
Prevention & Identifying Gambling Addiction
Game addiction can be easily identified and prevented. You need to be attentive, look after your behavior or loved ones. There are the main signs that you are an addicted gambler:
- Skipping school, holidays and other important events because of games.
- An obsessive desire to place a bet and win.
- You do not want to talk about your desire to gamble.
- The desire to borrow money or steal it for a bet.
- Attempts to win money back after losing.
- Mind is often occupied with gambling.
- Unsuccessful attempts to stop playing.
It is important not to gloss over these problems and seek qualified help. There are various organizations and programs in the USA that provide consultancy and solutions for addiction recovery. If you don’t know where to go, tell your doctor.
Who Plays Gambling Responsibly on Internet Sites
In order not to become addicted, you have to adhere to the principles of responsible gambling:
- Allocate a separate bankroll.
- Set win and loss limits for proper bankroll management.
- Bet small amounts so that you have enough money to play for a long time.
- Risk only an amount that you can lose.
- Leave the online casino in time, while you are still in the black.
- If you feel like you can’t handle it, use the self-exclusion option.
Don’t try to make money from gambling. This is just entertainment, a way to have fun.
The Legal Issues & State Laws
The Tenth Amendment of the constitution gives the state governments the right to regulate gambling in accordance with their laws. These are states in which online gambling is prohibited.
|Hawaii and Utah||Any kind of gambling is not allowed|
|Illinois||The state prohibits the creation and management of online gambling and sports betting websites|
|Louisiana||Online gambling and the provision of services to casino websites are unacceptable|
|Oregon||The law prohibits collecting debts for online gambling. It means that you are not protected from theft.|
|South Dakota||Only online casinos from brands with a state license are allowed|
|Indiana||Ownership of a gambling site or assistance in its management is subject to criminal penalties|
|Washington||Online gambling is a Class C felony|
The number of customers who play internet gambling in the USA is growing rapidly, and with it, the state treasury is growing. According to Statista, the industry’s market size grew to $9.5 million in 2021, up $800,000 from 2020.
For this reason, the authorities of many regions have removed restrictions for online casinos over the past few years.