Prohibition of games - “vaccination” against ludomania or avoidance of responsibility?

Prohibition of games - “vaccination” against ludomania or avoidance of responsibility?

Gambling causes dependence – this is the main argument of its opponents in the whole world. They offer to solve this problem by forbidding games but the efficiency of the method is doubtful.

According to Ukrainian laws, there has to be no gambling parlors but there are even more of them than in any country which treats gambling liberally. Such a conclusion is logical if we take into account police reports about liquidation of several slot halls or casinos almost on a daily basis. It means that the law doesn’t work and so, some part of population is suffering from ludomania.


Is epidemic possible?

In places where gambling venues are allowed, business and governmental sectors are involved in preventing and treating ludomania. Both parties spend money on researching the problem in order to define ways of its solution. Here are data of one of them.

On demand of Responsible Gambling Trust, researchers from Salford and Liverpool universities studied behavior of visitors of British Rank Group casino from 2012 to 2014. They received information from 885 000 client forms and analyzed data of more than 5 mln visits.

Prohibition of games - “vaccination” against ludomania or avoidance of responsibility (2)

It turned out that the majority of gamblers came to try their luck once or twice a year while just 1200 people visited venues twice a week and more. Only around 2% of gamblers demonstrated behavior typical of gambling addicts.

Other researches which were conducted in different countries show that number of addicted gamblers ranged from 5% to 2%.

It appears that regulation of gambling business doesn’t lead to gambling epidemic which develops into pathologic passion.


Fair games

It is worth noting that the low indicator of disease incidences is the result of limitations set in states’ laws. For example, the entrance in casino is forbidden for minors in all civilized countries.

Moreover, some authorities establish maximum sums of bets, losses and game duration. In Norway slot machines can be only used by owners of special cards which have a definite limit for spending money and make sure that a gambler takes a rest after playing during one hour. Gambling parlors with blackjack and roulette are forbidden in the country but the number of gamblers isn’t lower than in the UK where in 2015 148 casinos were operational. According to Norwegian Gaming Board, in 2010 the number of gambling addicts in Norway amounted to 2.1% from total number of gamblers.

In Spain all kinds of gambling business are allowed. Slot halls have limits for maximum wins and losses which allows pulling down gambling excitement.

A number of countries practice personal ban. People unable to control their passion to gambling can put themselves on the black list of gamblers who are forbidden to enter the parlor. Gambling addicts’ relatives have this opportunity in Belarus. In Russia this limitation was implemented by Shambala Casino.

Prohibition of games - “vaccination” against ludomania or avoidance of responsibility (3)

Operators of various gambling venues don’t want to have the image of those who make money on problems of others. Companies finance charity funds which help dependent gamblers and researches intended to solve the problem and impose inner limitations. Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation are thinking about implementing developments of British scientists PowerCranch which allows defining possible dependence to warn gamblers about danger before it’s too late.


Prohibition releases from responsibility

So, how about Ukraine with its clandestine “Internet cafes” and “lotto markets”? One shouldn’t expect that owners have some social responsibility. Their activity is illegal. Nothing stops them from allowing minors to come in, putting slot machines with a minimum win and take last money from those who lose.

Prohibition of games - “vaccination” against ludomania or avoidance of responsibility (1)

According to researches, youngsters under 20 as well as alcohol-dependent, people or people with financial and mental problems can become gambling addicts. How many of these are among visitors of Ukrainian illegal venues? It’s not known but taking into account basic quota consisting of men with low level of income, we can assume that there are quite a few. However, there’re no official data on the issue.

Let us remind you that gambling has been forbidden in Ukraine since 2009 because of the increase in number of addicted gamblers. It seemed that the state tackled the problem but in fact it only produced another document and for a while got rid of their duty to solve the issue effectively.

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