IS LEGALISED ONLINE GAMING IN NORTH AMERICA INEVITABLE AN AUSTRALIAN PERSPECTIVE

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1 IS LEGALISED ONLINE GAMING IN NORTH AMERICA INEVITABLE AN AUSTRALIAN PERSPECTIVE INTERNET GAMBLING Shaaron Kapcelovich Discovery 2010 Responsible Gambling Council Canada Conference Presentation th April 2010 Southern Cross University (Ethics Approval Number ECN )

2 AIMS AND OBJECTIVES This study aimed to investigate the role of RGFs in influencing gambling behaviour online as perceived by online gamblers located in Australia 1. the availability of prohibited online gaming websites in Australia 2. the provision of RGFs within online gaming websites 3. experiences and opinions of RGFs - online gambling participants located in Australia 4. experiences and opinions of problem online gamblers recounted by counsellors

3 LITERATURE REVIEW Currently - large gap in the literature regarding the prevalence of online gambling Expanding access to gambling products and related public health issues (Xuan & Shaffer 2009) One Australian survey - problem gambling four times higher amongst internet gamblers than non-internet gamblers (Allen Consulting Group 2003) International studies - 43% of internet gamblers had severe or moderate gambling problems (Wood & Williams 2007; McBride & Derevensky 2008) Characteristics of responsible gambling demand reduction, supply reduction and harm reduction (Cantinotti & Ladouceur 2008) Jurisdictional principles are causing much social, legal and political debate (Kentlaw 2007)

4 BACKGROUND Scope of Internet Gambling Jurisdictional Law Responsible Gambling Features Codes of Practice profile.myspace.com

5 AUSTRALIAN INTERACTIVE GAMBLING CURRENT LEGISLATION GAMING - Prohibited The gambling event is based on a computer program and the outcome is determined by a random number generator and include games such as black-jack, poker, lotteries and electronic gaming machines. WAGERING - Legal The gambling event takes place on a race track or sports field and the Internet is just a mechanism for placing the wager. poker-tomorrow.com sewingnetwork.net

6 METHODOLOGY MIXED 1. Audit of RGFs international websites pre-registration quantitative (n=31) 2. In-depth semi-structured interviews Australian gamblers Players (n=15) Counsellors (n=2) Community Educator (n=1) Family member (n=1) - qualitative abgaminginstitute gamblingsoftware

7 SUMMARY of RGFs In total, the 30 sites collectively displayed: Underage 49.5% -- 50% Lasseters Problem Gambling 39% % Lasseters Self Exclusion 23.3% % Lasseters Player Account & Game Fairness/Rules 46.6% -- 75% Lasseters Advertising and Promotional 40.5% % Lasseters Licensing and Jurisdiction 73.3% % Lasseters Payment Methods 75.8% % Lasseters Customer Communication 45% % Lasseters Summary 45.1% -- Lasseters 72.1% RG features % Yes Lasset ers Underage Problem Gambling Self Exclusion Player Account Advertising Licensing Payment Met hods Cust omer Summary Game Fair ness Promot ions ecogra Jurisdiction Security Communicat ion commons.wikimedia.org

8 SOCIO-DEMOGRAPHICS Internet gamblers located in Australia (n=15) GENDER: AGE: ALL MALE 23 years retirement MARITAL STATUS: EDUCATION LEVEL: EMPLOYMENT LEVEL: INCOME LEVEL: Majority Single (n=9) Majority Tertiary (n=9) Majority Employed (n=10) Majority Medium (n=10) FIRST LAND BASED GAMBLING: Age: years (n=9) Majority Horse racing (n=9) CURRENT LAND BASED ACTIVITY (n=13): Majority Poker (n=11) retirement-caricatures.com

9 ONLINE GAMBLING ACTIVITY PLAYERS (n=15) sample includes 2 who no longer gamble FIRST ONLINE GAMBLING: Age: years Majority Poker (n=12) CURRENT ONLINE ACTIVITY: Period of Time: Majority 3 10 years (n=12) Gambling Type: Majority Poker only (n=11) FREQUENCY: Majority - weekly Half - daily TIME PER SESSION: up to 4 hrs (n=8) up to 8 hrs (n=4) up to 18 hrs (n=3) EXPENDITURE PER SESSION: Majority up to $100 (n=12) NO OF SITES: MOTIVATION: Majority more than one (n=11) accessibility (n=15) entertainment (n=12) making income (n=7) PROBLEM GAMBLING SCALE (1-10): 0 (n=7) 1-3 (n=6) 7 (n=1) 9 (n=1) internetpoker101.net

10 COUNSELLOR ONE THREE CLIENT CASES Male, 24 years of age, poker, high income, tertiary education. He worked for and defrauded Online Poker Competition of $89,000. Spent 9 months in jail. Female, 33 years of age, TAB, medium income, employed. She gambled all her life, debt of $20,000. Only in counselling to maintain relationship (same sex). Female, in her early 40 s, pokies, high income, employed with a high school education. She earned a high income in her family business. Went online so she wasn t seen hanging around clubs. She lost $60,000 through casinos and slots.

11 Liked the isolation and anonymity of online gambling COUNSELLOR TWO THREE CLIENT CASES Males in mid 20 s De factor relationships, few tertiary, low income, all poker machine addicts Free plays and bonuses were motivation to play online Accessibility major consideration don t have to wait for the RSL or local pubs to open to gamble

12 FAMILY CASE FATHER AND SON Middle age father, married, medium to high income, works full time. Began gambling on horses - very young age - grandfather Went online due to shiftwork Horse racing on a weekly basis also Blackjack and Roulette substantial amounts of money Scale of one to 10 family says he was a 9 Big win of $30,000 Six year old son - three o clock in the morning gambling on a Barbados website This boy has asperger type of autism - quite computer literate To emulate his father s behaviour, the boy took his mother s credit card, logged on and gambled

13 COMMUNITY EDUCATOR ONE CASE 16 YEAR OLD HIGH SCHOOL STUDENT Doing homework on the Internet Received advertisement would you like to try a fun game of gambling? Started on a free play site Message from website you ve obviously got a flair and skill for this game, would you like to play for real money? Received incentive money to start (start-up bonus) poker---stars.blogspot.com Borrowed mum s credit card Lost over $20,000 in two days/nights Website disappeared Authorities said they could have a look but nothing they could do. femalegamblers.org

14 FINDINGS Underage Verification 18+ Identification Problem gambling Self exclusion Player Accounts and Game Fairness Licensing and Jurisdiction Customer Communication Payment Methods and Security dailymail.co.uk myownbet.com

15 GENERAL OPINIONS ALL STUDY PARTICIPANTS Anyone can play anywhere at anytime Underage access is extremely easy Casinos are the most problematic sites to play on Players believe pop up messages would be beneficial as reminders of: - Money spent per session - Time per session - The odds of winning etc. - The harm caused by online gambling Lifting prohibition to allow play on regulated Australian websites to enable: Monitoring of problem gamblers and More links to help services popgadget.net cartoonstock.com

16 CONCLUSION CHALLENGES Superficial RGFs not readily available and not salient for most players very little effect in moderating the influences on Internet gambling behaviour LESSONS LEARNED Gambling in an unregulated internet environment can be a far riskier and harmful activity than land-based gambling in a regulated environment POSSIBLE FUTURE DIRECTIONS Australian Productivity Commission recent draft report recommends legislation to provide Australian based gaming websites to allow effective and efficient regulatory policies and procedures If prohibition is lifted, Government regulations require a Code of Practice that is effective and efficient for all players

17 END billmullins.wordpress.com casinoguide.com

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