You know how there are cities and countries where the drinking and smoking age is either 18, 21, or something like that, but the rule is not heavily enforced? The result is kids and teens being exposed to the social aspect of smoking and drinking at an early age.
Gambling is also what we may call risky behavior. There is also internet gambling. Does it present the same danger as other hobbies with the potential to become addictive? What is its impact on society?
One could argue that internet gambling poses a larger risk than gambling in general. Why? Well, gambling taps into our dopamine, causing addiction. However, the same can be said of the internet in general, especially mobile games. When you put the two of them together, you get customers that don’t want to leave, even when playing games and betting online stops being fun. Simply put, you can get addicted to gambling as well as online games.
There are gambling communities and strong peer pressure related to risky behavior. It is like a gate to social circles. It takes a strong character not to engage with others in the risky behavior in question. This goes double for children and teens.
While cigarettes and alcohol possess a certain dose of adult mystique, internet gambling is ‘just a game’. However, it is a game that deals with real money. Children understand how important money is. Families that gamble together are not great at regulating children in this regard. This is where online and offline gambling are pretty much the same in their effect on the population.
However, gambling establishments have security measures to prevent minors from even entering, let alone playing games and placing bets.
The same can’t be said of internet casinos and bookies. All a user finds there are a few warnings about problem gambling, being 18 or older, and which payment methods are okay. Nothing that can stop a kid with a phone.
It becomes easier to disconnect from the people and events around you. Time is a concept that loses meaning after a while. And gambling online begins to become intertwined with everything we say and do.
If the problem is addressed, we tend to become defensive and feel anger, followed by shame. This becomes even more of a problem when we hide internet gambling from others. It doesn’t help that we look at the money lost as ‘just numbers’.
Difference Between Traditional and Internet Gamblers
It seems that traditional gamblers are more emotional and can feel physical discomfort and nausea when they lose large amounts of money. By comparison, internet gamblers are more numb. Also, traditionalists go to casinos and betting parlors as a type of escapism.
Internet gamblers see gambling as a competitive game that doesn’t require much effort. It may be interesting to compare internet gamblers to online investors and I might do something like that in the future. There is some overlap in treating money as nothing more than numbers.