Academic Calls For Legalisation Of Online Gambling
In Canada, a marketing professor at the University of Western Ontario has called for the legalisation of online gambling in order to allow for better regulation and to potentially reduce its harmful effects.
June Cotte, an Associate Professor of Marketing at the University’s Richard Ivey School of Business, believes that online gambling has the potential to become more habitual than casino gambling if it is kept unregulated and underground.
'One potential solution is to allow legitimate corporate sponsors, like the corporations that run the major casinos in Las Vegas or the government sponsors in Canada, to enter into a newly regulated market for online gambling,' said Cotte.
'Just as legalised commercial gambling in casinos allows governments to regulate it, so, too, could the legalisation of online gambling allow for better regulation and attempts to reduce the growth of problem gamblers.'
Cotte is due to publish a study entitled Blackjack in the Kitchen: Understanding Online Versus Casino Gambling in the Journal of Consumer Research in the winter of 2009. She interviewed regular casino and online gamblers using pictures as stimuli in order to learn what gambling feels like and how it is perceived.
Her results indicated that online gamblers gamble more frequently and aggressively because casino gambling requires travel to an outside location and is more difficult to hide. In contrast, online gambling is easy and can be integrated into daily home routines. She stated that online gambling also lacks social interaction so participants are involved for the game, rather than other aspects, which may increase the risk of addiction.
'The unregulated online environment results in a more chaotic environment with no clear social norms and rules,” said Cotte.
“The meaning of gambling changes, moving from a shared conviviality available in the casino to a no-holds-barred battle online. It brings out the gamblers' more competitive side.”