Online Gambling Offers New Challenges to Addiction Specialists

By Staff Writer

While there has been much debate lately over whether or not states should legalize casino gambling, with opponents citing an increased likelihood of gambling addiction, experts say that there are now many new online options that allow individuals to wager their money, putting them at risk for losing control.

David Hodgins, who directs the University of Calgary Addictive Behaviors Laboratory, told the Calgary Herald that online betting has brought the risk of gambling addiction to millions of people who would never have been exposed to it before.

Individuals who previously would not have considered setting foot inside of a casino can now simply log on to betting sites from the comfort of their own home or even place wagers from their smartphone while on their way to work.

Hodgins told the news source that traditional approaches to solving gambling addiction are not necessarily effective when dealing with someone who bets online. He described the situation as a “moving target.”

The National Council on Problem Gambling states that an addiction can be described as any situation in which wagering affects a person’s psychological, physical, social or professional well-being. Online gambling has the potential to disrupt all these areas. Addiction rehab treatment may help address these problems.