Does Online Gambling Lead to Substance Abuse?

April 1, 2012

A recent study shows that online gamblers are more likely to suffer from substance abuse than offline gamblers. This is surprising, considering how many drinks a casino will “comp” you if you sit at the tables at a land-based casino long enough. Perhaps Internet gamblers just undergo more stress and find themselves reaching for the bottle to comfort a big loss or a long-term losing streak.
Montreal Professor Sylvia Kairouz at the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at Concordia University studied socio-demographic profiles and game play patterns, comparing them with varying extremes of addictive behavior in both online and offline adult gamblers.

In her research, Kairouz discovered that not only do Internet gamblers spend more money, but they also use alcohol and marijuana more so than gamblers who do not play online, though her findings aren’t definitive yet.

Kairouz says, “We cannot determine … whether gambling on the internet creates problems in and of itself, or whether those who already have addictive behaviours are more likely to be enticed to gamble on the internet.”


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