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Gambling Online Safer for Problem Gamblers?

11 August 2011 by admin

australia_worldRight now the Australian parliament is holding a parliamentary inquiry on online gambling and gambling advertising. The inquiry is part of Senator Nick Xenophon’s anti-gambling bill the Interactive Gambling and Broadcasting Amendment (Online Transactions and Other Measures) Bill 2011. During the inquiry, the CEO of Betfair had an interesting statement: Gambling online is safer for problem gamblers than playing in person.

According to Cormac Barry, the chief executive of online sportsbook Sportsbet, playing at a casino online is safer for problem gamblers because of the technology. According to Barry, the “efforts that have been made by the online gambling industry are considerably more sophisticated than other areas of the industry.”

A a brick and mortar casino, poker room or betting shop, the only real deterrent for a problem gambler is using the self-exclusion list. That depends on people at the business recognizing you and knowing that you should be excluded. Online, however, you can put limits on how much you deposit, how long you play, and how much you lose. The software can pick up on betting patterns that suggest a gambling problem. If someone tries to circumvent a ban by opening another account, the website runs “real-time matching software that will pick out common characteristics with similar accounts and that will flag and alert our fraud system.”

According to Barry, online gambling websites do a better job than the brick and mortar variety of keeping out gambling addicts and controlling the urges of people who have a problem spending too much. The testimony by Barry was a high point for the industry, considering the inquiry is being conducted so Xenophon and his peers can show the “evils” of the industry.

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