Online players not the most compulsive gamblers
By Paul
The majority of callers to the Council on Compulsive Gambling of New Jersey’s helpline are gamblers at land-based casinos, with only 3% of callers gambling illegally on the Internet. The number of Internet gamblers may not be representative, as Atlantic City, one of the two main US gambling destinations is located in New Jersey.

In 2001, the Council on Compulsive Gambling of New Jersey received nearly 20,000 calls to its 1-800-GAMBLER(c) HelpLine. The statistics are based on a sample of 2,172 callers.

Casinos were the number one choice for gambling activity, with 61% of people stating it was their primary gambling type, and 69% of total callers participating in casino gambling. While only 9% of people claimed the lottery as their primary gambling type, 20% of total callers stated they participated in lottery gambling. Sports betting ranked third with 16% of callers claiming it was their primary gambling type.

The figures show that the gambling demographics are changing: the amount of people over the age of 55 calling the helpline was up 6% from 2000, with 15% of 1-800-GAMBLER(c) calls from people over 55. Female callers were also up 6% from 2000, totaling 24% of HelpLine calls in 2001.

The number of Caucasian callers dropped 9% from last year to 76%. More single people are calling for help, with a 19% increase, totaling 37%.

The Council's website is continuing to see a rise in the amount of hits it receives each year. In 2001, the website received over 440,000 hits. Internet gambling, which is illegal, continues to rise. In 2001, 3% of HelpLine callers bet online.

Casino gamblers averaged 8.2 hours per visit to the casino with the average duration of gambling problems rising from 15 years in 2000 to 31 years in 2001. 6% of callers had a history of alcohol or drug abuse.

Of the 2001 1-800-GAMBLER(c) HelpLine callers:

69% gambled in casinos

20% gambled on lotteries

16% bet on sports (illegally)

14% bet on horse races

3% were Internet gamblers

4% were employed in the gambling industry

1% gambled on the Stock Market

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