The 2005 Gambling Act brought all British slot machine gambling under the rules and regulations of the new Gambling Commission. This act allowed gaming companies to advertise on radio and TV, as well as the possibility of getting bigger payouts on slot machines. However, those who oppose gambling felt that it would cause an increase in gambling addictions. The Sports minister countered that sentiment by stating the new laws would actually gives the casinos more control.
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.
With the increase in online gambling, as well as legalized gambling establishments adding new games and casinos, many feel that there is also an increase in gambling addictions. These addictions can include online slots, video poker machines, slot machine gambling and many other forms. Studies have shown that there has been an increase in compulsive gambling, as well as the affliction of impulse control, which is a type of mental disorder. These addictions have grown in direct proportion to the number of online gaming sites available and to the increase of brick and mortar casinos that now seem to be everywhere.