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We’ve all seen those commercials

You know the ones with the friends waiting on the online poker player to finish.  He PROMISED he’d be there.  He’ll only be a few more min! Oh man, i guess HE’S the one missing out.  Sure, online gambling is for degenerates and addictive personalities.  People who miss time with their friends are obviously not prioritizing their life properly, and require the non-poker playing friends to intervene.  Thank you main stream media.  Vilify the poker player a little more why dontcha. 

Well, it seems that you have some ammunition if your friends keep asking if you’re addicted.  A recent study by a top American University has shown that online poker, and online gambling are not the highly addictive places those commercials would lead us to believe. 

Here is an excerpt from the article:

The study has shown that despite the wide availability of online gambling there has not been an increase in people becoming addicted to gambling.  Harvard Medical School Division on Addictions conducted a study of 3,445 poker players playing in February 2005 and carefully followed them until recently. The study was designed to investigate whether or not online gambling was a potential object of addictive behavior.

The study found that there is no direct link between the availability of online gambling and the number of people becoming addicted to gambling. In fact the study discovered that gamblers who visited online gaming websites were more likely to self-regulate their betting behaviour based on their patterns of wins and losses.

The executive director of Harvard Law School’s Global Poker Strategic Thinking Society, Mr Andrew M. Woods was largely unsurprised by the findings of the study and stated he believes poker is less like gambling and more similar to risk assessment.

He went on to say, “There is no house in poker, so no one is guaranteed to win,” adding, “Poker exercises your ability to make good decisions.”

So there you have it.  A very well thought out, Harvard University backed study on why online poker is not the monster the commercials make it out to be, and that by and large, people make decent, risk based assessments of how they’re doing online and play accordingly. 

Of course, I’m horribly addicted…I’m gonna fire up my full tilt account right now.  :)

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