In the last ten years, the number of people playing casino games has increased by more than 300%. In 2018, there were 166.7 million active monthly players who made over 400 million bets worldwide.
While the industry grew rapidly in the early 2010s, it didn’t come without problems. Some players complained about unfair gaming. Others worried about gambling addiction. In 2015, the World Health Organization listed online gambling among the ‘health risks’ associated with ‘video games’, stressing the importance of developing ‘appropriate measures’ to regulate the industry.
However, the health and safety concerns raised by the WHO were based mostly on anecdotal evidence. To investigate the impact of online gambling on health, the International Journal of Health Surveys collected data from 11 different countries. The study showed that compared to the general population, online gamblers were more likely to be male, younger, and more affluent. They also had a higher prevalence of mental health issues such as depression and anxiety.
Problems Caused By Online Gambling
Depression and anxiety are common problems among gamers, which is why the WHO issued a public health alert about the issue. What is less clear is whether or not gambling itself is bad for your mental health.
According to ‘The Self-Care Guide for Game Addiction’ by Mike Chiarello, Ph.D., author of ‘The Gaming Addiction Counseling Handbook’, people with gaming addictions often develop patterns of depression and anxiety. They may also experience problems with sleeping and eating due to stress and anxiety. Additionally, they are at an increased risk for developing a substance abuse problem.
The study of 11 different countries showed that gambling addiction was most common among young people and college students. While there is no clear data to prove that gambling causes brain damage, it can be a source of stress and mental anguish. In some cases, it may even contribute to more serious psychological problems.
How The Internet Grows The Market
The biggest change in the last ten years is how the Internet has evolved. In the early days, it was mainly used for educational purposes. Now, it is one of the main ways people interact with the world. In fact, the Internet grew the market for casinos by providing a safer place for players to gamble.
Over the last decade, more and more people have gotten addicted to gambling. Today, there are over 160 million addicted gamblers around the world. That’s almost one in ten people. The market for online gambling games is currently valued at over US$15 billion.
One of the reasons behind the explosion in popularity is that online gambling is more secure than traditional casinos. In addition to not having to worry about physical fraud, online casinos use secure internet connections and encryption to protect player information. Additionally, these games can be accessed from almost anywhere with an Internet connection, which makes them more mobile-friendly.
New Technology Enhances User Experience
Over time, the industry has changed to provide better user experiences for players. One of the major ways they do this is by updating their games to use cutting edge technology.
In the last ten years, the industry has shifted to using ‘cloud’ technology, which provides players with much faster and more responsive graphics and gameplay. Additionally, some casinos allow players to make real money winnings withdrawal whenever they want. This provides instantaneous gratification for the player. It also reduces the stress of having to wait for payday in the form of a gambling jackpot, which can be a lifeline for some addicts who get hooked on the sport.
The Growth Of Online Gaming
While the last ten years have certainly seen the rise of online gaming, the industry has been around for much longer. The first casino was developed in 1976 and took advantage of new technologies to provide a better user experience. Over time, more and more traditional casinos were outsourced to less regulated regions, such as the Philippines and Vanuatu. This has led to a number of issues, such as higher rates of fraud and abuse and a higher risk of gambling addiction among some of the players.
With more people getting hooked on gambling and addiction more than ever before, it is an important topic for the gaming industry. Health professionals, psychologists, and addiction specialists may benefit from reading ‘The Self-Care Guide for Game Addiction’ by Mike Chiarello, Ph.D.