Video gaming leads to gambling - study
By Paul
Students who play a lot of video games are at risk of developing a gambling problem, because they think they can use their skill to beat gaming machines, according to the latest research from New Zealand.

A study, conducted by the Problem Gambling Foundation of more than 500 Auckland teenagers in the New Zealand capital Auckland, suggests that there is good reason to believe that frequent video game playing can lead to possible problem gambling.

More than half of the students surveyed were not aware that gaming machines operate on chance – although whether the element of luck involved in shoot-em ups like quake is really significant does not appear to have been addressed.

Video game playing amongst those surveyed was widespread with over half saying they played video games at least once a week.

The foundation's research director, Sean Sullivan, said that 6% of the students surveyed played video games for up to three hours every day, and over half of these students already had a gambling problem.

Other international research has also highlighted the correlation between new generation gambling machines and the video game-style graphics and technology which they will use. Whether this will lead teenagers onto Internet casinos has yet to be seen – although the graphics in online casinos pale beside any video game from the past five years.

Sullivan says he fears a huge increase in problem gambling among young people, and wants to see legislation that would force gaming machines to carry warnings that they are games of chance.

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