Technology and its Effects on Habitual Gambling

Gambling addiction is the albatross sitting on the shoulder of the gambling industry, as it brings a dark shadow on an activity that is meant to be fun and enjoyable. Internet gambling critics are particularly harsh on casinos and the industry as a whole for what they perceive is increased access to gambling portals for those addicted. As now gamblers are able to play online from the comfort of their own homes, with sites providing access to everything from sports betting to playing slot machine games online. This is a misleading argument though, as there are many ways in which technology has had a positive effect on habitual gambling, making online betting almost safer than land casinos when it comes to prevention and protection.

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Self-Exclusion Lists

One of the chief ways that online casinos look to keep those addicted to betting outside of their virtual doors is to implement self-exclusion lists. In this system, players who feel they may have a gambling problem or authorities who deem the person to be addicted can submit personal information which is then distributed to licensed and regulated online casinos serving a specific area. Access to the casino is then restricted, as player accounts tied to that person’s name are frozen and future registrations cannot be completed.

This is a particularly useful system to keep punters from causing harm to themselves or others, and has been put into play by many high traffic markets such as the United Kingdom, United States, Belgium, France, and more. Self-exclusion lists are also highly used by land casinos, but their effectiveness is often not as great as online betting sites that can stop players from logging in right away.

A downside to the self-exclusion list is that unregulated and offshore betting sites are not privy to the information contained in the lists, allowing problem gamblers to circumvent the system and continue to feed their addiction.

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Monitoring Patterns

Many online casinos have technology in place to monitor suspicious activity, and appropriately report it in order to remove potential threats or risky betting behavior. These systems include monitoring betting patterns as well as depositing patterns. Too many risky bets or a rapid amount of deposits in a short period of time are likely to trigger suspicion, and many players have had their accounts frozen until an investigation into the strange behavior was addressed.

These tools utilize a variety of sciences including psychology, behavioral science, algorithms, and artificial intelligence to monitor potential problem gamblers operating online, and in some cases can be used to warn the punter about the ways they are betting.

In a system like this, there is the potential of analysis not being relayed to players, although this can be combated to a certain extent with licensed operators. Keeping online betting destinations honest is a key aspect in the successful implementation of this technology, and will hopefully continue to get better as more markets become regulated and offer better options for players.

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Moving Forward

There is a saying that goes: “If somebody really wants to do something, they will find a way to do it.” This is definitely true in the betting world when it pertains to problem gamblers who are seeking to gamble, even when there are restrictions in place. No matter what technology is put into place, there will almost certainly be a way to circumvent the measures put into place for a problem gambler to continue to bet. The hope is that with increased technology, it will become more difficult for problem gamblers to participate in online betting and that the world will hear less unfortunate stories about gamblers who bit off more than they could chew.

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