Not too long ago, new gaming regulations went into effect in Britain that allowed gaming industry companies to advertise on radio and TV. This legislation made it possible for regional casinos to thrive, as well as making slot machine payouts larger. The rules came from the 2005 Gambling Act, which applies to all slot machine gambling in Britain, as stated by the new Gambling Commission. At the time, many believed that this would cause gambling addiction to increase; however, the Sports Minister states the legislation provides more powers of control for the gaming industry.
Is there cause for concern that more lenient laws regarding slot games could cause an increase in the number of gambling addictions? The Norwegian government would probably say yes, as thousands of Norwegian’s have become addicted to playing the slot games; turning one of the most law-abiding countries into a country riddled with citizens who have gambling addictions. It is so bad that the government wants to cut the number of machines from the current 18,000 to just a few thousand, with restrictions on access.
Most people are familiar with the more common addictions of tobacco, drugs and alcohol; however, the fastest growing addiction in the United States now is gambling, including slot machine gambling. Many of these pathological gamblers go through all of their money, and then go further into debt by using credit cards. Sadly, many of these gamblers are teenagers and once the money is gone, they are turning to theft or selling off possessions, either theirs or someone else’s.
Studies show that on average, a gambler will lose all of their money and then will use credit to continue to play slot machines or other games. They will get over their heads in debt, anywhere from $40,000 to $90,000, before they will even think about getting any type of help for their addiction. Many will use bankruptcy as a form of relief and many others who cannot find a solution will commit suicide. Legalized gambling is one of the fastest growing industries today, enabling the gaming industry to make a lot of money.
At one time, you had to go to Atlantic City or Las Vegas if you wanted to gamble on anything more than just a little friendly game of cards. Now, however, easier access is everywhere, including the internet, making gambling that much easier. While you may not think that slot machine gambling would be a problem, it can develop into compulsive gambling, or a type of mental disorder known as impulse control. This form of addiction may include online slots, video poker machines and a myriad of other games.