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Myths and truth of online gambling

Carran, M. (2012). Myths and truth of online gambling. Paper presented at the 8th International Conference on Internet, Law & Politics (IDP 2012): Challenges and Opportunities of Online Entertainment, 09 -10 July 2012, Barcelona Spain.


The view that online gambling presents increased risks of gambling addiction and increased minors’ participation underlies several regulatory approaches and judicial opinions. It has been seen in the justification given by some States for protecting their gambling monopolies or for prohibiting interactive gambling either partially or in entirety and in judicial statements made by the Court of Justice of the EU. The paper challenges the validity of this assumption by analyzing existing literature to evidence the divergence between actual gambling behavior and legislative attitudes. It is undisputed that online gambling presents different issues but the lack of effective dialogue between law and social science knowledge leads to over – reliance by many regulators, to their detriment, on the unverified assumption that online gambling leads to more harm. The analysis of online gambling participation rates, player’s demographics and social aspects of cyberspace gaming experience shows that many assumptions are not supported by empirical evidence. Furthermore, Internet’s specific capabilities present unique opportunity to minimize gambling related risks more effectively than any mechanisms that can be employed for traditional forms of gambling. An evaluation of under-aged exposure shows that it is the unregulated environment of free gambling that potentially presents particular risks for adolescents.

Publication Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Publisher Keywords: Online gambling, regulation, internet capabilities, cyberspace gaming experience, adolescents
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare
K Law > K Law (General)
Departments: The City Law School > Academic Programmes
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