|On what did 3 million Britons spend £3.5billion online last year? What do the Brits spend £18million a day online on? If you think, its online shopping or maybe during christmas, then you are pretty far off. Online gambling is where all money is heading to say industry experts. This figure is only expected to rise sixfold in the coming years.|
Everything from football, horse-racing, poker, casinos, even betting on Pop-Idol,is on the betting menu as the Brits keep pumping more money online than ever, but according to one charity that works with gambling addicts, there is a 56 per cent rise in patients - with nearly half of those addicted to Internet betting.
“We are sending our customer-support team on a psychological-training course to help deal with addicts. The company is also planning to monitor betting patterns and even contact problem users. It is not in our interests for people to become gambling addicts. Addiction is very serious but it is a very small issue statistically - 99 per cent of people are playing for fun,” says Patrik Selin, chief operating officer of PokerRoom.com.
In 2003, 2.9 million Britons staked £3million a day on the net, and Ladbrokes predicts a six-fold increase in the number of gamblers this year. The biggest new customers, according to online casinos are women who previously never ventured into a casino out of social pressures.
Things are expected to change with more regulation kicking in soon. The draft Gambling Bill, which could become law this year, will make it easier for companies to run online casinos from the UK.