The addiction to gambling is a behavioral disturbance which is pathological and which manifests itself through some of the following characteristics. First of all, ti is all about the pleasure of taking risks, about looking for action and adrenaline and for avoiding getting bored. This behavior can tear families apart, as well as to one losing their job or to registering significant financial losses. Those who are addicted to gambling can do things they never thought they were capable of, such s stealing money from their parents, from their kids or from their office in order to be able to gamble, lie, deceive and manipulate others.
Many of the gambling agencies define gambling as a sort of betting with which the amounts of money which can be won are unknown. Also, this activity depends on the skills and luck the ones who gamble have. There are four types of gamblers. First of all, there are the recreational gamblers or the social ones, who separate gambling from their lives, considering it a way of spending their spare time. Then, there are the professional gamblers, who see gambling as a business they can earn their living from. These are also the ones who take part into international competitions and so on. Then, there are the anti-social players, who end up stealing from others in order to be able to play and who don’t have any moral boundaries to stop them. Last but not least, there are the pathological players, who are obsessed with gambling and who can only be cured by specialists.
Here are the symptoms of this addiction. First of all, the players who are addicted to this activity have a progressive inability to control this behavior in order not to register significant financial and relational losses. A player also feels the need to win more and more money and to take higher and higher risks, their lack of wins turning them into very unhappy and depressive persons. There are also some persistent preoccupations when it comes to gambling. These preoccupations have to do with finding money to invest or to planning the wins and the investments. Regarded as a way of solving all kinds of problems and of annulling feelings like guilt, depression, anxiety or discouragement, this game or activity offers a solution not many people have the courage to take up. There are also cases in which the ones who are around the gambler and who live with them realize the consequences of this activity and the lack of control from the gambler’s side. Last but not least, there are also all kinds of illegal behaviors, which are tightly connected to the fact that gamblers try to get money and to cover their losses turning to illegal activities.
Several new studies show that college students are flocking to online gambling websites in record numbers. The studies show a 12% increase in college students that participate in online gambling from two years ago. The unlawful Internet gambling enforcement act (UIGEA) was passed and became law in October 2006 by the government to curb the online gambling. But the UIGEA not deterred online gambling, but in fact has actually increased the Internet gambling activity.
The US is considered the top Internet gambling market in the world and now high school and college age students ages 14 to 22 are getting into the act. One of the studies was conducted by the Annenberg adolescent communication pussy888 Institute at the University of Pennsylvania. This telephone study found that in college aged males 16% admitted to gambling online that figure is up from 4.4% in 2008. High school students who gamble online on a monthly basis were up from 2.7% to 6.2%. Of the participants virtually none admitted to weekly online gambling.
The woman in the study showed a significant jump in online gambling participation with high school females that gamble online monthly jumping from 0.5% to 1.5%. Women have been the driving force behind the explosion in poker in the US.
Online poker players have been lobbying the US Congress to repeal the current UIGEA law. The new bill passed the House Financial Services Committee, but doesn’t look like it will be voted on by the full house before the end of the year. With no vote this year a new bill have to be introduced in 2011. The idea of regulating online casinos and poker rooms has many politicians including it in their campaigns. Hoping that this will help many states increase tax revenue and help balance the state’s budget.
As a result of these studies it is projected that 400,000 college aged persons and 500,000 high school students gamble online at least once a month.