Betting shops today are virtually unrecognisable compared to the betting offices legalised by the 1961 Betting and Gaming Act. "Under the Act, the newly licensed betting offices were required not to encourage loitering," states researcher Professor Gerda Reith of Glasgow University. "Today's attractive, comfortable premises are a world apart from that. In particular, their touch-screen Fixed Odds Betting Terminals (FOBTs) that allow players to bet on the outcome of various games and events are encouraging new types of customers and new styles of play."
While older, working-class males used to make up the majority of punters, betting machines appear to be drawing first-time gamblers, particularly young males and ethnic minority groups into betting shops. "A proportion of older gamblers are also attracted to FOBTs, a change from their traditional bets," Professor Reith points out. These machines are now hugely popular. Profits from FOBTs, which were introduced in 2001, now outstrip profits from traditional over the counter bets on horseracing, greyhounds and football.
Professor Reith's research shows that both the types of betting as well as the clientele of betting shops are changing. Is this causing more individuals to become problem gamblers?
Says Professor Reith: "Gambling itself is not dangerous, it is how people deal with it that can cause harm. That said, some types of gambling are more risky than others and FOBT's seem to be one of the products most associated with harm at present. For example, we have evidence that some older betting shop customers who did not have problems with gambling in the past are more likely to develop problems when they start to use betting machines."
Betting machines are particularly risky in terms of problem gambling because of the enormous speed with which they take gamblers' money. "Compared with some forms of gambling such as horse races or even casino table games, betting machine games are extremely quick, the stakes are high and the losses can very quickly become higher," Professor Reith explains.
Findings from Professor Reith's earlier research shed light on the causes and paths of people's gambling behaviours. Individuals, her research shows, are not born gamblers but rather become gamblers (and problem gamblers) through complex processes of social interaction with their environment. Gambling as a behaviour – whether problem or not – fluctuates over the life course, sometimes to quite a high degree. Hence, 'problem gamblers' are not a discrete group. Rather, gamblers can move in and out of 'problem gambling' during their lives.
Understanding this dynamic, researchers suggest, is key to identifying effective interventions, and informing policy so that the harms associated with gambling remain at a minimum.FOR FURTHER INFORMATION, CONTACT
2. The Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) is the UK's largest organisation for funding research on economic and social issues. It supports independent, high quality research which has an impact on business, the public sector and the third sector. The ESRC's total budget for 2010/11 is £218 million. At any one time the ESRC supports over 4,000 researchers and postgraduate students in academic institutions and independent research institutes. More at www.esrc.ac.uk
3. Problem gambling is defined as behaviour that is out of control and that disrupts personal, family, financial and employment relations. It is linked to financial problems such as debt and bankruptcy, divorce, lost productivity, crime (such as theft and fraud), depression and suicide. It is estimated that approximately 3.5 million adults in Britain experience some difficulties with their gambling behaviour. More at Australian Government Productivity Commission
Press Office | EurekAlert!
Mathematical confirmation: Rewiring financial networks reduces systemic risk
22.06.2017 | International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)
Frugal Innovations: when less is more
19.04.2017 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Arbeitswirtschaft und Organisation IAO
Strong light-matter coupling in these semiconducting tubes may hold the key to electrically pumped lasers
Light-matter quasi-particles can be generated electrically in semiconducting carbon nanotubes. Material scientists and physicists from Heidelberg University...
Fraunhofer IPA has developed a proximity sensor made from silicone and carbon nanotubes (CNT) which detects objects and determines their position. The materials and printing process used mean that the sensor is extremely flexible, economical and can be used for large surfaces. Industry and research partners can use and further develop this innovation straight away.
At first glance, the proximity sensor appears to be nothing special: a thin, elastic layer of silicone onto which black square surfaces are printed, but these...
3-D shape acquisition using water displacement as the shape sensor for the reconstruction of complex objects
A global team of computer scientists and engineers have developed an innovative technique that more completely reconstructs challenging 3D objects. An ancient...
Physicists have developed a new technique that uses electrical voltages to control the electron spin on a chip. The newly-developed method provides protection from spin decay, meaning that the contained information can be maintained and transmitted over comparatively large distances, as has been demonstrated by a team from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics and the Swiss Nanoscience Institute. The results have been published in Physical Review X.
For several years, researchers have been trying to use the spin of an electron to store and transmit information. The spin of each electron is always coupled...
What is the mass of a proton? Scientists from Germany and Japan successfully did an important step towards the most exact knowledge of this fundamental constant. By means of precision measurements on a single proton, they could improve the precision by a factor of three and also correct the existing value.
To determine the mass of a single proton still more accurate – a group of physicists led by Klaus Blaum and Sven Sturm of the Max Planck Institute for Nuclear...
26.07.2017 | Event News
21.07.2017 | Event News
19.07.2017 | Event News
26.07.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
26.07.2017 | Life Sciences
26.07.2017 | Earth Sciences