Psychological Causes of Online Gambling

Online gambling is a form of virtual betting where gamblers wager on games through digital platforms such as online casinos and regulated iGaming sites. It has grown in popularity since the 1990s when technology revolutionized the gaming industry, allowing operators to circumvent domestic gambling laws and create websites that accept wagers via credit cards from anyone with access to the Internet.

Online Casinos: The allure of flashing lights and rhythmic noises attract millions of players to regulated online casinos, where complex algorithms determine prize distributions. Yet underneath this facade, a darker side of online gambling lurks. Several psychological causes have been identified that can contribute to gambling addiction, including underlying mental health issues such as depression and anxiety, daily life stressors and the heuristic of chasing wealth.

Responsible Gambling: The emergence of responsible gambling features on digital gambling platforms is an encouraging development. These tools and resources can assist players in moderating their play through features such as expenditure tracking, self-set spend limits, and time outs. Additionally, operators can utilise data to identify potential risky players and provide them with bespoke support such as targeted notifications and information.

Treatment Options: Inpatient rehabilitation programs are often appropriate for people with moderate to severe addiction, as they provide a structured environment that limits the accessibility of websites and apps associated with online gambling. Outpatient rehabilitation is also available for those with mild addiction, and this type of rehab involves regular therapy sessions where a patient learns how to manage their online gambling urges through psychotherapy.