Although Internet gambling has grown rapidly in recent years, accompanied by speculation about its potential negative consequences, little is known about the people who gamble online. To learn more, the Department of Psychiatry and Oxford Internet Institute have conducted a web-based survey to investigate the demographics, the psychological and clinical characteristics, and health experiences of people who use the Internet to gamble in different ways. In this lecture Professor Rogers will discuss the study’s findings.
Overall, the ‘casino and sports’ and ‘multi-activity gamblers’ clusters had the highest prevalence of self-reported mental disorder. There was also a significant association between mood disturbance and broader problematic Internet use in these groups, highlighting the risks of Internet gambling for individuals with a history of mood elevation and sleeplessness. Other findings explored in this lecture highlight the need to understand the potential significance of wider health issues and patterns of Internet use, and its possible social marginalization in affected individuals.
Finally, Professor Rogers will also show how the study’s findings can assist regulators and gambling companies to develop ways to identify high-risk clients based on gambling patterns, and to direct their ‘responsible gambling’ initiatives towards the most vulnerable clients.
This lecture is part of a public series on “Society and the Internet”, run by the OII. The series will continue in Hilary (spring) term.
About the speakers