Nowadays it is difficult or more precisely it is impossible to imagine our lives without information technology. The application of computers, telephones and television have wormed their ways into everywhere. With the proliferation of the Internet the scale became even wider. In certain respects life grew easier, there is no need to worry about going shopping or to the bank as nearly everything can be settled by some clicks on the screen. It is no wonder that people got more and more used to the comfort of their homes and if it is attainable the nest is not left at all.
Services and products come to us and so does online gambling. Everything is virtual and that has the potential to provide comfort, excitement and distraction in the short run. But is it really good? What difference does it make in the quality, quantity and effect of gambling?
A research has been carried out on this topic and the result is staggering. The fact that according to the psychologist Marc Griffiths, there is not only one but several factors that make internet gambling attractive requires explanation. The cat is not let out of the bag by stating that the temptation of hitting the jackpot can urge more and more gamblers to keep on playing, but what other factors should be dealt with? Definitely there are some more. Enumeration goes as follows: accessibility, affordability, anonymity, escape and disinhibition. All of these gain specific importance in the age of the Internet.
As for accessibility and affordability, studies have proven that increased accessibility of gambling services induces increased uptake. It might be the case that those who play online gambling now did not try it before in a land based casino, because it was a hassle to get there or to change the sweatpants to jeans. Now it is over, online gambling can be played in sweatpants, too. Internet and the usage of online services are getting cheaper and cheaper; furthermore, at public libraries or higher education institutions access to Internet is free, so affordability is not a primary barrier to online gambling any more. The other aspect of affordability is that through the technological developments, saturation of the online gambling industry can be traced. Consequently, there is increased competition in the market and a great fight for the customers. Promotional offers and discounts are available and coupons provide cheap opportunities to get access to online gambling.
The anonymity of the Internet grants private engagement for users without the fear of being recognized by an unwanted person. When winning or losing a lot of money, it may be a positive benefit that nobody sees the face of the winner or loser. Behind a pseudonym there is no feel of shame in skill-based gambling activities when committing a faux-pas at the virtual poker table.
Online gambling can provide an emotional and/or mental escape from stress and strains of real life and this way it is a means of relaxation.
One of the Internet’s key appeals is undisputedly the fact that it makes people less inhibited, not only in connection with gambling but also in general. Those who play online seem to open up more quickly and give themselves out emotionally that they would never do so abruptly in the offline world. This phenomenon is referred to as Hyperpersonal Communication. Is it good or bad? Regarding online gambling one never can be sure if the other gambler is telling the truth or not, so it is a kind of online poker face.
All in all, for what can the online gambler community be grateful to technology? Fast and affordable online casinos, playing from the shelter of a fake name, being away from everybody and everything that distract attention from winning the jackpot, plus nobody watches suspiciously if you are less inhibited than desired but at the same time it still provides the chance to have a poker face. Thank you technology!
The article was written with the help of the following study: Internet Gambling: An Overview of Psychosocial Impacts by Mark Griffiths, Adrian Parke, Richard Wood, Jonathan Parke.