New studies published by European Addiction Research have shown that smartphone gambling apps are far more addictive than FOBTs. The ease at which one is able to gamble online makes it much harder to resist.
In the last couple of years gambling apps have risen in popularity because it means that people can gamble literally anywhere at the click of the button. The design of these online apps, which more closely resembles harmless video games, lulls users into a false sense of security.
The study concluded that because users check their phones throughout the day, they must constantly resist the urge to gamble. Therefore people who gamble from their phone tend to gamble more frequently than others.
Gambling companies contribute to this dangerous behaviour by designing mobile games to produce a bunch of ‘small wins’ and ‘near misses’, to encourage people to keep gambling. Some gambling companies are even able to force their users to become psychologically dependent on gambling, by constantly notifying them on their phone and harassing them over email.
Anti-gambling campaigners are frustrated claiming that gambling laws are outdated. The industry now largely operates online and is worth over £5.4 billion. As it currently stands there are very few regulations over online gambling as gambling laws in Britain were written before smart phones existed.
Many fear that the accessibility of gambling has normalised these dangerous and addictive behaviours. Gambling has been allowed to invade every aspect of people’s lives and this is very dangerous especially to people psychologically pre-disposed to addictive behaviours.