Internet gambling is now at our fingertips 24/7. With easier access, are online gamblers more prone to risky behaviors than offline gamblers?

A new study published in Cyberpsychology, Behavior and Social Networking, led by Sylvia Kairouz of Concordia University, has compared people who gamble offline only to people who also gamble online. The results show that alcohol and cannabis use are associated with online users.

“There has been growing concern with the rise in online gambling and how this affects the health of our public,” says Kairouz, professor in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology. “The number of gambling sites around the globe have grown from about 15 in 1995 to 2,358 in 2010 and global Internet gambling revenues increased from $3 billion to $24 billion between 2000 and 2010.”

“Our results show that online gamblers reported being involved in more types of gambling and they spent more money and time playing than those gambling offline only,” says Kairouz. “The proportion of frequent and problematic drinkers and cannabis users was also much higher among the Internet players.”

According to Kairouz, these findings suggest that online gambling emerges as one more risky behavior among other substance-related risky behaviours exhibited by this small group of individuals.

Read more from Concordia University.

Associated Press

Associated Press

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