Online gambling opponents have forever been claiming that higher rates of problem gambling are caused by vast exposure to gambling opportunities, such as the internet.
However, according to the results of a new study, this argument has been refuted and could assist those who are endeavouring to bring legal online gambling to the United States and other regions in the world.
The study that was conducted by the University at Buffalo Research Institute on Addictions (RIA) saw 2,613 people being interviewed during 1999-2000. A second study was also conducted during 2011-2013 on 2,963 people who were asked about their participation in different gambling activities that ranged from lottery tickets to online gambling.
The result of this study revealed that although people were much more exposed to gambling opportunities these days due to the growth in mobile technology, the internet and advertising, the rate of problem gambling stayed in the 3.5 to 5.5% range with pathological gambling remaining in the 1 to 2.4% range.
The study shows that there has been a drop in the frequency of gambling activity between the first and the second survey with overall participation in gambling decreasing from 82.2% during 1999-2000 to 76.9% during 2011-2013.
According to John W. Welte, a senior researcher at the RIA, results were compared from two nationwide telephone surveys that were conducted a decade apart and they found no significant increase in problem gambling in the US even though there was a nationwide increase in opportunities for gambling.