Focus Story

The Online Gambling Epidemic

The phenomenon of online gambling does not stop growing year after year. Its poor regulation in many countries and the huge investments of companies in advertising have greatly expanded its audience, with the problems of gambling that this entails. Also, their strategies have been replicated in other sectors, such as video games or social networks, with a great impact on the population.

If you are a sports fan – it is also enough to not live isolated from the world – this will probably sound familiar to you: Cristiano Ronaldo, Neymar, Rafa Nadal, Usain Bolt, or any other great sports star calmly playing poker, roulette, or betting on a match. Even well-known actors have ended up in these advertising moments inciting the consumer to gamble some money on their team’s next game. The explosion of online gambling is a recent phenomenon, only a few years old, but it is progressing unstoppably. So much so that it has already crossed the barriers of virtual casinos or sports betting to reach the world of video games, mobile applications, and social networks.

From underground to your pocket

Online Gambling Epidemic 2

The game always had a mix between fringe and glamorous. Among humble people, it was a way to kill time and at the same time give a little emotion to their lives; among high society, it was an excuse to gamble with something they had in abundance and to use the occasion to strengthen other assets of greater value, such as social and political relationships – that was the idea of ​​the first casinos. However, seeing the amounts of money that gambling moved and the disturbances and problems that it generated – depending on who played – the State decided to take advantage of the wave: this is how the first national lotteries began to be created from the end of the 18th century, thanks to which the State obtained resources and, at the same time, could distribute substantial prizes in a fairway.

However, in an attempt to control a good part of the gambling pie, the countries severely legislated gambling based on a mixture of public health, public order, and even moral issues, and in some cases relegated it to certain areas – such as Macao, the only place in China where it is legal – or territories with legislative autonomy, in which they decided to stimulate the local economy through casinos and other forms of gambling – such as in Las Vegas, Atlantic City or the Indian casinos in the United States.

The key factor comes with the advancement of times and the development of the online world, represented by the appearance of online gambling sites such as 22Bet Uganda. In the virtual universe, the game has found a much faster way to expand, reaching many more people, new audiences and in a more direct way, especially through smartphones, laptops, and tablets. The result in the face of so much encouragement and little training of citizens regarding gambling has been devastating: cases of gambling and problems related to gambling do not stop increasing and, what is worse, also in population groups for whom gambling until now it was something quite alien, like teenagers. And this, with the consequent damage to many family economies. Thanks to this strategy, the sector continues to increase its profits and invest in advertising actions that further enhance its profitability. The differentiating factor in this whole issue is not so much the substance of online gambling – making people play more – identical to that of betting on physical sites, but the form: a whole torpedo of behavioral economics at the waterline of our brains.

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