UK study finds: Internet has not increased problem gambling

A UK Gambling Commission study found that, contrary to their expectations, the internet has not led to an increase in the proportion of people gambling from the previous study in 1999.

Problem gambling remained at the same level as found in 1999, at about 0.6%, or about 250,000 people in the UK.

I wrote earlier about the absurdity of USA-style prohibitions of online gambling:
You cannot gamble online either. You used to be able to - but then, a Las Vegas representative introduced legislation that cracked down on online gambling. And playing poker, too. Ostensible reason? Poor children who gamble online and get their parents into enormous debt. That's what the TV said. Real reason? Las Vegas casinos feeling competition from the online gambling industry. So they lobby the federal government to prohibit you, and everyone else, from doing what you want with your money. And it considerably hurts freedom on the internet, because now, all of a sudden, it becomes more difficult to make online trasactions - there need to be all these checks to make sure none of it goes into gambling. And all of that, for what? The benefit of Las Vegas casinos?
This new study shows how groundless, pointless and useless these prohibitions against online gambling really are.


High said…
"Poor children who gamble online and get their parents into enormous debt."
This is hard to believe. Why would parents put themselves into debt when children ask them for money even when they didnt know it's for gambling?
denis bider said…
As used in this specific case, that quote is a sarcastic paraphrase of the kinds of arguments used to support legislation against online gambling. Example: "The most troubling aspect of Internet gambling is the relative ease of accessibility for our Nation's children."

That said, kids can use their parents' credit cards, by doing which they can get their parents into serious debt. A kid can do it without the parent knowing. I imagine this would be rare, but I did hear that a story of this sort was used as ammunition against online gambling on American TV.
verbatim said…
I can't understand why so many people oppose gambling. Christian fundamentalists always see drugs and prostitution in it although they have no proof for either of them.

It is MY money and I should have the right to spend it in a way i want - for books, hookers or throwing away playing poker :).
denis bider said…
verbatim: yeah :)

"I'm gonna go build my own theme park! With blackjack! And hookers! And booze!" ;)
boris kolar said…
I don't oppose gambling. But I do oppose what our Slovenian government is trying to do: give some gambling company special treatment and tailor the laws for that company.

This way, our stupid government is actually making a statement, that gambling is somehow better and more desirable activity than other lines of business. If gambling companies get a tax cut, why shouldn't everyone else?
denis bider said…
Governments usually make such concessions when they feel they need to compete with other jurisdictions for the benefit of having someone's business.

Of course, the best solution would have been for the government not to meddle in the economy anyhow and not tax anyone's income in the first place.

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