Online gambling and social networks in the 21 st century
Online gambling and social media are the two most rapidly developing directions of the industry. Both sectors – an integral part of the daily lives of many smartphone users.
Simulates casino gambling attracts people to social networks and they, in turn, work as a perfect marketing tool for online gaming websites.
Many researchers wonder, whether social networks and online gambling do harm users. In this regard, university professors have studied the effect of combining these sectors for adults and children in recent years.
Overlap of the online gambling industry and social networks
Online gambling arose in the last decade of the 20 century. The main catalyst of the industry development became mobile devices and social networking sites. The sits of online casinos, poker, and sports betting have official pages on Twitter and Facebook, which they use to provide ads to their potential clients.
Gaming operators can`t offer casino games for real money on the most popular social networking sites. Nevertheless, in some countries, particularly in the UK, gaming is allowed. Top operators of online gambling offer applications of social gaming that is available in Itunes Apps Store and Google Play.
How do social networks embrace online gambling?
Americans spend much time on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, whether it`s working hours, lunch or just relaxing. Many people use social networks to communicate with old friends, new acquaintances, and family members. In addition, social networks are more and more conducive to business marketing.
Casino games aimed at children
In January 2018 British Facebook users condemned Scientific Games for kids free slot games in their gaming app Jackpot Party, where children could play slots like kittens for free. This example demonstrates the overlap of social networks and online gambling, regardless of the laws that prohibit playing for real money in most versions of Facebook and Twitter.
Moreover, many Facebook users play popular social gaming applications such as Zynga, Big Fish Games, Game Show Network and Doubledown Casino. These free casino games have become the object of harsh criticism from parents and antigambling activists, who argue that this kind of game forms the habit of gambling in the future.
Teenagers and simulation of casino games
These concerns prompted a group of Australian scientists to launch research titles “SIM Games for teens in digital and social media” in 2014. Daniel L. King, Department of Psychology, University of Adelaide, together with colleagues focused on games-simulations for teens in social networks, as well as the use of electronic media by Australian teenagers in general.
The study covered 1287 high school students aged between 12 and 17 years from seven schools in Adelaide, Australia. The researchers studied the students` behavior and responses in the following areas:
- The use of electronic media
- The indicators of pathological gambling
- Mental health.
The types of gambling simulators
The research focused on three types of gambling simulators:
1) Standard gambling simulators – free games that simulate blackjack, roulette or Texas Holdem.
2) Non-standard gambling simulators – video games, in which casino gambling was like “the game inside the game”, but there is a small percent of the gameplay. Such examples include the simulation in Red Dead Redemption and Fable II: Pub Games.
3) Gambling recommendations – materials of non-interactive gambling, other gambling paraphernalia or materials within the context of video games.
The team of researchers at the University of Adelaide noted that there were several limits during their work, that need to be taken into account. The research didn`t track this subject over time, therefore, could not document that gambling in social networks caused game for money in the future.
In addition, pathological gambling is not a frequent occurrence. To check on the subject of problem gambling the students were classified as “at risk” when they started to show relatively mild symptoms. The potential risk factors, such as general impulsivity of the student or a family history of problem gambling, have not been tested.
The connection between social networks and gambling
Dr. King concluded that the type of a game such as gambling in social networks stimulates the development of children`s desire to play for real money later in life, because they introduce underage users with that, how to play casino games. The researches found a great increase in gaming habits to 3-5 times from the base level. They did not predict the percentage of students that showed signs of pathological gambling, only that they are more prone to gambling.
Gambling and games in social casinos
The researches showed that children who pay for gambling in social networks are more prone to gambling later in life.
The percentage of smartphones addiction
30.9% of minors who use mobile devices show symptoms of smartphone addiction.
In the report of the University of Adelaide in 2018, the researchers told that tha students face an increased risk of smartphone addiction.
The mobile phones addiction of adults
The impact of social casino gaming for small children
Games of social casinos increase the likelihood that later in life the child will gamble. Companies need to set a policy that would keep minors from playing free casino games. At the same time, the government should consider the laws prohibiting this kind of gaming, if the company is inactive.
However, focus only on ludomania would be a mistake. A lot of children and adults, who spend much time on social networks, risk to develop addiction rather from phones and social networks. If you are not able to have lunch without checking messages on your phone, then this is clearly a sign of addiction from social networks or mobile devices. In the same way as in the case of problem gambling, people should pay attention on this behavior and take steps to combat it.
Social networks give us the opportunity to contact anyone. As well as gambling – is only form of entertainment for millions. Fun and leisure can give way to addiction, if a person immerses in the game and loses his head. Any activity can be destructive if you get involved beyond measure.
Earlier it was reported, that ludomania – one of the varieties of Internet addiction.