Wednesday 14. October, 2015

Research Finds Promotional Tools Impact Problem Gambling

The first specific research into the impact of free online inducements on problem gambling has been conducted by Victoria’s Responsible Gambling Foundation and the results are damning. The report indicates a link between free inducements and an increase in problem gambling.

Serge Sardo from the Foundation went as far as to say that these free inducements should be banned, along with the ability to use credit cards for wagering. He also stated that he would like to see punters being able to exclude themselves from every online betting company around the world. The research found that in many cases the terms and conditions of the offer were so difficult to understand that gamblers would not even read them and therefore would not understand the wagering requirements of the offer.

In some cases, these terms and conditions were found to be 450 pages long with professors sometimes taking hours to understand them.

The Wagering Council, representing the biggest online gambling companies in Australia, argued that there is no evidence supporting a link between inducements and problem gambling.

However, Mr Sardo countered that “there’s no direct evidence because it’s a fairly new phenomenon, but we’re fairly confident that this does impact particularly on the most vulnerable and in particular on problem gamblers.”

Because of the huge growth in online sports betting in recent years, regulations are failing to keep up and the lack of other research into this subject makes it impossible to create evidence-based policies. The study concluded that there is an urgent need for more analysis of the impact of inducements and a potential response to these effects.

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