In the most recent issue Annual Review of Clinical Psychology, Howard J Schaffer of Harvard Medical School has set out to disprove popular myths about the online gambling market. While many states have bolstered their arguments against online gambling with claims that it encourages gambling addiction, Schaffer disagrees.
In his article “Disordered Gambling: Etiology, Trajectory and Clinical Considerations”, he states that instances of problem gambling have decreased by 0.1% since the 1980s. Even with the advent of online gambling, there is a lower rate problem gamblers in the United States today than there was 35 years ago.
After online gambling boomed at the turn of the century, there was indeed an increase in the number of players trying out the new innovation. However, Schaffer argues that few of the new generation of gamblers have developed addictions.
Simply because gambling has become more readily available in the online world, it does not mean that more Americans will develop gambling problems. He states that there is “little evidence that exposure is the primary driving force behind the prevalence and intensity of gambling”.
This new report simply proves that gambling addiction is deep-rooted in far more serious issues that the invention of internet gambling. Now, legislators like Barney Frank have additional fuel to prove that online gambling is not a threat to society and it will be interesting to see if this news will improve the chances of online gambling being legalized.