Study on the incidence of pathological players in the online environment compared to traditional forms of game.

One of the strategic directions of the Rombet Association is to develop and implement in our country education programs about prevention and help for people with gambling problems, such as ”responsible gaming” or the initiative ”help line”, done together with psychologist Cristina Anghel, in the dedicated program of responsible gaming of the association. In their approach, Rombet representatives have constantly in mind, however, that the gambling industry is one of rapid change, and the success of the projects depends on being permanently connected to new information that changes the face of the field.
Thus, due to innovations in recent years, a diversification of ways that players have to participate in gambling activities could be observed, and online offered the ideal platform for such a development.
Whether we are talking about mobile apps, whether we refer to various sites of gambling, which have gained increasingly more global popularity, the attention is now focused on the virtual environment.
Naturally, such an increase has generated various discussions, starting with the security of personal data to controversy regarding increasing number of people who lose sight of the entertainment aspect of gambling and cross the threshold towards addiction.
Considered by some to be a factor that favours the onset and / or development of gambling problems, the online environment is becoming more and more the subject of studies on the effects on players that seem to indicate a lower rate of those who face the problem of addiction among players who access exclusive virtual environment.
“We expect gambling on the Internet to grow further during the coming years, and to witness a greater number of mobile applications or Internet sites that will provide opportunities to play. The fact that there is interest in investigating how the Internet can help or not to increase the number of cases of players with problems is good news not only for Rombet, but for all those interested in responsible gaming programs.
Such information will provide us with clues into the thinking and implementation of our future strategies, “said Dan Iliovici, senior vice president of Rombet.
The study, signed by dr. Sally Gainsbury, researcher at the Southern Cross University in Australia, has shown that people who prefer online environment exclusively for their activities from gambling are less prone to problems with the game compared to those we find both offline as well as online, or only in traditional environments.

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Going further with the analysis, the data showed that 1/3 to ½ of online players who manifested forms of pathological gaming, attributed these problems to land-based forms of the game, adding that the problem existed long before accessing the virtual environment.
“Although we consider very useful that, internationally, the industry focuses on such studies, we at Rombet will continue to insist on the importance of having such information also in what our country`s situation is concerned.

In this regard, we consider that the first action the Foundation of Public Interest will have to undertake after its establishment must be a national study showing the actual extent of gambling addiction in Romania “commented the Rombet representative. In addition, the advantage of the online environment is that it allows better management of the various strategies and tactics to control people experiencing gambling problems, and developing control tools specifically designed to identify and exclude these players, as well as tracking the record/history of spending on various platforms, self-imposed limits or even pop-up messages notifications, to draw attention when there are indications that the player exceeds the limit between fun and addictive.

“It is true that the internet provides a potential environment and resources to moderate the behavior of the game. From my experience, I have found that people develop this addiction easier when engaged directly, when physically present in the game space, and less via online sites. Research in this direction are, however, scarce at the moment, so larger studies will be needed to reach firm conclusions, “was the answer of psychologist Cristina Anghel on the subject.
In conclusion, as online games are gaining more and more ground, it will be necessary to focuse on efforts to understand the implications that this direction to develop the field implies.

“A key factor in exploiting this new information for the benefit of operators and players alike, is that operators join forces and think along new strategies and projects that promote responsible gambling, whether it is about the online or the traditional gambling. And, in what this initiative is concerned, the support offered by associations such as Rombet cand prove itself to be essential”, concluded Rombet President Mr. Dan Alexandru Ghita.

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