Online Gambling is the activity of placing bets or wagers on sporting, casino and other types of gambling events via computer, mobile phone, tablet or any other internet-enabled device. It is a growing and increasingly popular form of gambling with over 20 million Australians playing online in 2006.
The emergence of Online Gamling has been associated with a number of changes in the industry. These changes include the introduction of increased advertising and inducements, product innovations, increased speed and ease of access and a variety of bet types, such as multi-bets. Treatment-seekers disproportionately highlighted the negative effects of these changes, with many explaining how these had fostered their impulsive gambling, escalating losses, persistence and loss-chasing behaviours.
Psychotherapy is an important part of treating Online Gambling addiction. It provides a safe space for patients to express their emotional and mental health issues in a confidential environment. The most common forms of therapy used are cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), which helps patients to change their thinking patterns and behaviours, and group therapy.
Counselling is another key component of Online Gamling addiction treatment. It helps patients to identify and overcome their underlying issues that may have led to gambling problems. It can be used in both individual and group sessions.
Self-regulatory tools have also become more widely available to help people to manage their online gambling activities. These tools include harm minimisation features and personalised reports.
However, the effectiveness of these tools is often limited. Research needs to be conducted to better understand the use of these tools by individuals with gambling problems and how they could be improved.
Longitudinal research is essential to examine the impact of online gambling on its users over time. This will help researchers to develop more accurate models of how gambling problems emerge and be treated.
The treatment of problem gambling is a complex and multidisciplinary field, which requires the cooperation of independent researchers, operators and regulators to ensure that strategies are developed, tested and implemented effectively. This requires the development of a robust evidence base and the promotion of responsible gambling practices.
There is an increasing understanding that people who are highly involved in gambling are more likely to have gambling problems. This is because these individuals are more prone to impulsive gambling, persistent betting, and loss-chasing, which can result in serious financial and social consequences. This is consistent with a finding that highly involved gamblers are more likely to engage in other addictive behaviours, such as substance abuse and self-harm.
Some problem gamblers choose to limit their involvement in online gambling by avoiding the websites and apps that they know promote it. However, this can be difficult for some people. This is because they have already established a habit of visiting these sites.
It is possible to reduce a person’s involvement in online gambling through a combination of self-regulatory strategies and support from a family or friend. These strategies can be based on principles of behaviour modification or cognitive-behavioural therapy, and include reducing the frequency of gambling, controlling how much money is spent and managing impulse control. It is also advisable to set limits on gambling, and to seek professional help if necessary.