Why do people gamble online?

Internet Gambling Addiction

Why do people gamble online?

Gambling Among Teens and College Students

Laws Regarding Online Gambling

Mental Health Issues and Treatment









































Gambling via the internet can turn into a problem for most people who take the risk to do so.  Adolescents and college students are among the highest percentage of people who gamble online.  There are many motives and reasons behind why these particular age groups are most likely to gamble on the internet.  Whatever the reason may be, internet gambling can turn into trouble for one, or even worse an addiction.

This particular article states that 3 dimensions can be concluded in their findings from their study. The first dimension is "Withdrawal and Social Problems." This can be defined as people in which do not socialize as well as their other peers, which makes them more horsessusceptible to be drawn to the gamble on the internet because it gives them a break from the real world (Chang 2008). Internet gambling also helps them withdrawal from the everyday stresses of life, so being on the internet and gambling is an escape for them. The second dimension is "Time Management and Performance." Most people who are addicted to the internet have a hard time managing their own time because they are too caught up on what is in front of them that they tend to forget about other obligations needed to be done. Also, some people may become addicted because of the way they are performing while gambling online. If they lose they will do anything to stay on the internet until their winnings start to increase again and if it is the opposite and they are winning, they want to keep going to higher their earnings (Chang 2008).  The third dimension is called "Reality Substitute." Reality substitute is when one wants to remove their self from reality because of their own personal reasons, and replace it with the internet (Chang 2008).  These 3 dimensions founded by Chang are just some of the reasons people chose to gamble online.

Another interesting study included 762 open-ended questions that asked 184 college students who admitted to gambling.  The results revealed that many college students gamble for innocent reasons.  For one, most just do it for fun(Cronce, Larimer, Lostutter & Neighbors 2002).  Some of their friends may be online gambling, they could be bored and just pick it up not thinking that there is potential to become addicted, and even worse lose most of their money.  Social reasons was also another finding, which can be defined for the simple fact of just wanting something to do with friends, or even talk about it with them and compare gambling results (Cronce, Larimer, Lostutter & Neighbors 2002).  Some gambling websites even have it set up where you could be playing another person somewhere else in the world, so some people may look at this as an outlet to reach other’s and may be even make a friend in the process.  Lastly, the excitement is also what drives college students to part take in online gambling.  It is exciting to place a bet and wonder anxiously if you are going to win or not.  A lot of people love the pure excitement and thrill they get out of not knowing if they will win or lose (Cronce, Larimer, Lostutter & Neighbors 2002).  Whatever the reason may be, at first college students admit to not thinking they will ever become addicted when they start placing their bets for the first time.

casinoMost people wonder why those who are influenced by internet gambling, chooses to gamble online rather than land-based gambling. If land-based gambling such as casino's and horse tracks are widely available why would people chose to gamble online?(Lawton, Williams & Wood 2007) This particular study had 1,920 participants take a quanitive and qualitive survey on the internet. Their findings were pretty remarkable in defining why people chose to gamble over the internet. The primary reasons for choosing internet gambling over land-based gambling is due to the convenience, comfort, and the overall ease of internet gambling (Lawton, Williams & Wood 2007). At anytime during the day or night one has the opportunity to just walk over to their own personal computer to gamble, rather than getting up and driving to a land-based gambling venue. Also, you can wear, eat, drink, and do anything while gambling in the comfort of your own home, which is something you cannot do at a gambling venue. Lastly, what they concluded from this study was that those who admitted to gambling over the internet excessively, stated that they prefer gambling online because of the pace and nature of online-game play (Lawton, Williams & Wood 2007). This means that they can gamble at their own pace with no outsiders interrupting or any other distractions. These findings proved that for the most part those who gamble online, would rather keep gambling over the internet, rather than going to an actual land-based gambling venue.

Many college students are more affected than any other age group when it comes to placing bets and gambling online.  One in twenty college students are addicted to internet websites that offer the chance to gamble, however it is a huge risk.(ABC World News 2006)  Most college kids are drawn to gambling online because at first glance, they consider it to be absolutely harmless.  In fact, most start out with the intent to just play and place small bets and if they win, they win.  Also, they think that once they start losing they will quit gambling.  However, their initial ideas that seemed so harmless at one time begin’s to turn the opposite way, as they become addicted and basically money hungry (ABC World News 2006).  When most people lose bets, it is frustrating and they want to keep placing more bets and gamble because they want to get over their lose and hopefully win back money. Then it takes a domino effect because they become addicted and keep playing online despite the fact that they lose more than they win (ABC World News 2006).

Internet gambling is only on the rise for all ages; however college students are more exposed to online gambling for the simple fact of growing up with the internet and becoming well educated and computer literate (Petry & Weinstock 2007).  Also, college students have more access to computers, whether it is their own person computer, or computer's around their campus in computer labs (Petry & Weinstock 2007).  In conclusion, just as gambling has its wins and losses, so do the reasons and motives that make people gamble on the internet.