Gambling Addiction In U.S. Down Despite Increase In Online Gambling
With online gambling expanding in the U.S. expanding in the last decade, anti-gambling activists are quick to point out the increasing number of gambling addicts. While all interested parties rely on data and research that promotes their political agenda it is always worthwhile having a look at independent research. The latest study from researchers at the University at Buffalo Research Institute on Addictions (RIA) has concluded that despite the proliferation of online gambling in the past decade there has been no significant rise in the problem of gambling addiction.
The data was compiled from two nationwide surveys conducted a decade apart. The first survey was conducted in 1999-200 with over 2600 people and the second survey was conducted in 2011-2013 with over 2900 people. The individuals were asked about their active participation in all sorts of gambling including bingo, gambling machines, casinos, lottery, online gambling, sports betting, raffles and even office pools.
The researchers concluded that there was no significant change in problem gambling with rates remaining at the 3.5 to 5.5 percent range. Pathological gambling rates were in the 1.0 to 2.4 percent range.
Despite gamblers having more options to wager due to online gambling the researchers found that overall participation in gambling activities actually decreased. The overall percentage of those who took part in some sort of gambling activity dropped to 76.9 percent in 2011-2013 from the 82.3 percent in 1999-2000. Another finding was that in the last year people who gambled spent less days doing so with the average number of days being 59.9 days n 1999-2000 compared to 53.7 days in 2011-2103. Senior research scientists John W. Welte summed up the study and said,” Our results show it is clear that U.S. residents are gambling less often.”