Disclaimer: gambling is addictive. Should any symptoms of gambling addiction be revealed in you or your close ones, immediately ask for help at international (BeGambleAware, Gamblers Anonymous, GamCare, etc.) or local problem gambling organizations.
Online gambling has been on a crazy run since the first online casinos popped up in the mid-90s: currently estimated at $75 billion, the global online gambling market is bound to triple by the end of the decade. And it goes without saying that it outshines brick-and-mortar casinos hands down, which only accelerates as new technologies appear and the rampant pandemics locks millions of punters home.
Having access to thousands of sites, each one delivering the best gambling experiences to the comfort of your home, it might seem that the freedom of choice comes at no price. Unfortunately, though, quite the opposite is true: both renowned platforms and aspiring hubs alike are now facing a gambling addiction problem, even despite the vast measures in place.
According to the report by the National Center for Responsible Gambling, about 1% of the adult population in the United States has a severe gambling problem, while up to 9% of young people and young adults are experiencing gambling-related problems. What’s even more interesting, the research claims that online games – especially slots and poker – are riskier than others.
But why? And more importantly, how to avoid the addictive web of online gambling? Let’s dig into the matter together with Aleksandra Maj, a conscious player and a gambling expert from KasynoHEX.com.
The Mechanism of Addiction
Whether you’re playing at an all-star online site like Slottica or a brick-and-mortar casino, the potential threat is the same, and it’s similar to how drugs work. Now that the gambling addiction is recognized and studied – for most of the 20th century it was classified as an impulse control disorder, which was proven wrong only towards the end of the century – it’s known that it emerges in the brain regions responsible for pleasure, memory, and motivation, rewiring them in a way that an addict needs a stronger stimulation over time. Just like drug addiction, gambling addiction asks for a continuous dopamine release for the everlasting feeling of euphoria.
What’s Special about Online Gambling?
Now the question arises, why are online casinos more dangerous? The answer, though, is on the very surface: a much stronger marketing and multiple tricks unique to online casinos:
- Free Play. You won’t go to a land-based casino with a hole in your pocket, will you? But that’s more than possible with online casinos as they will gladly allow you to play for free for as long as you want. Then, slowly but steadily, you are getting lured into topping your account with real money, and voila, you’re a full-fledged player before long.
- Bonuses. Both brick-and-mortar and online casinos offer bonuses, but the perks of the latter are gazillion times more diverse and attractive. Welcome bonuses, deposit bonuses, casino online bonus bez depozytu, free spins, tournament tickets, cashback, birthday gifts – you can easily choose the reward you’re willing to get, and for some of them, you don’t even have to deposit your hard-earned money…instantly. Later, though, as you might have guessed, the casino will ask you to deposit before you can withdraw your bonus and winnings from it.
- Affiliate program. You can make money by playing, but you can also earn big time with an affiliate program by spreading the seed of gambling all over the web, a task much easier and with a much greater reach than an offline promotion.
- Inability to control problem gambling. Exclusion lists aren’t unique to land-based casinos, but online gamblers are near-impossible to control. Not only are there tons of casinos to play, but there are also masking technologies and multiple tricks an addict can use to hide his identity.
On top of all of the above, some online casinos – even licensed ones – are playing dirty by offering
- Huge bonuses with a just as huge wagering requirement you know nothing about.
- Delayed verification requests: you can play without verification…until you want to withdraw.
- High withdrawal limits with fees eating away the lion’s share of your win.
That said, online gambling offers incredible opportunities and if approached with due care, can make you a happy traveler in a multiverse of games. Live dealers, virtual reality games, blockchain-based casinos – online casinos are calling for everyone, but are only willing to reward the most meticulous and patient.