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Online Gambling Popularity Increasing Among Youth

28 October 2010 by admin

There have been two recent reports – one in the United States and one in the United Kingdom – showing that online gambling is growing among the youth. Though anti-gambling special interest groups and the politicians in their pockets would have you believe otherwise, online gambling is not only popular, it is becoming more and more popular.

facebookThe first report is a study by Nielson Media Research showing that last year 3.2 million people in the UK visited various online casinos, online poker rooms and sports books, which is an increase of 40% from 2008. In comparison, only 2.2 million people visited Facebook and other social networking sites.

This news may surprise some people, since Facebook is hugely popular and it seems like everyone uses it. It even has its own blockbuster movie now. Still, gambling was popular way before telling people about buying a cow, posting passive-aggressive status updates and uploading photos from your party to prove to the world that you’re fun. As networking, banking, researching and basically everything else that used to be done in person are increasingly resigned to the internet, it only makes sense that hobbies like poker and blackjack would do the same. Today’s youth is incredibly internet savvy, so jumping on something like online gambling shouldn’t be surprising.

A separate study by the National Annenberg Survey of Youth found that the popularity of online poker has surged among college-aged Americans, especially boys. The study reported that 16% of college-aged people play at online gambling sites at least once a month. That is an increase from just 4.8% in 2008.

Put the two studies together and I think what you learn is that gambling is not a hobby of the past. Some would think that as<img Pong01 technology advances, today’s generation would no longer be entertained playing a card game. I don’t think that gives people enough credit, though. Sure, people are used to sophisticated technology due to a generation raised on video games. On the other hand, isn’t playing Wii Tennis pretty much the same as playing Pong? Maybe not. I think Pong had better graphics.

The more important thing the studies say is that the government can’t legislate trends or popularity. Only MTV and the Disney Channel can do that. Many lawmakers in the U.S. want to do away with online gambling, but it is more popular than ever. Of course, many things that Congress tries to make popular are rejected by the people, such as Obamacare and “green energy initiatives.”

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