Ruddock: Research Showing Online Gambling Doesn’t Create Problem Gamers columnist Steve Ruddock has listed three studies that show that online gaming is not leading to an increase in problem gambling. Ruddock acknowledges that online gaming is still relatively new and much more study is needed, but so far critics of online gambling are being proven wrong. Steve Ruddcok has outlined three studies in the very new study of online gaming that he dubs three studies Online Gambling Critics Don’t Want You to See.

While online gaming hasn’t been around long enough for extensive, long-term study, the early research shows no connection with online gambling and problem gambling.

Ruddock points to three studies:

2011 Harvard research study

The study found that increasing accessibility and/or wagering options does not contribute to an increase in problem gambling rates. The research began in 2005 and was assisted by the online gaming site bwin, which provided access to data from the site, including wagering habits of casino and poker players.

The study found that online gamblers play infrequently and wager small amount of money and found no evidence gambling online to an increase in the risk of becoming problem gambler.

2014 University of Buffalo Study

The study came from a $3 million grant from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism to examine the rate of problem gambling over the past decade.

The study actually found gambling rates of all kind have been dropping in the U.S.

“It may be due to the economic downturn we experienced starting in 2008, which resulted in a decline in casino business,” the study said. “It also could be due to the theory of adaptation—that while initial increases in exposure to gambling venues lead to increases in rates of problem gambling, a population will eventually adapt and further negative consequences will not continue.”

UK CAP Study

A new study from a UK group completely debunks long held beliefs that advertising and certain types of ads contribute to problem gambling, Ruddock wrote.

The study was conducted by the UK’s Committees of Advertising Practice, an independent organization in the UK.

CAP’s study focused on whether the changes in advertising that began in 2007 “might contribute to problem gambling-related harms or impact on children and young people.”

What they found was consistent with both Harvard’s and the University of Buffalo’s findings: Problem gambling rates had remained relative flat, regardless of the regulations in place:

“Problem gambling rates and participation rates among children and young people have both been at worst stable during a period of unprecedented growth in gambling advertising. The impact of gambling advertising, both on the propensity toward problem gambling and underage participation, is limited.”