Video gambling machines have been proven to be the most addictive form of gambling in history. People who get hooked on them become compulsive gamblers in about one year, rather than the usual three to four years it takes for all other types of gambling. Robert Hunter, nationally-recognized expert on gambling addiction, stated that “video gambling machines are ‘the crack cocaine’ of gambling because they are so addictive” (Miami Herald, Oct. 30, 2002).
One reason is that people can bet very quickly. Besides very fast turnaround, Internet gambling affords very easy access and privacy. According to USA Today, “at least three states are edging toward legalizing online gambling, and Great Britain is on the verge of permitting its land-based casinos to take bets online from U.S. citizens” (March 16, 2005).
Internet gambling is just beginning to take hold. A scant three years ago, worldwide online bets for the highly popular game of poker alone were about $16 million per day. Two years later, they were more than $200 million per day! (ibid.). Thanks to the Internet, we can expect gambling addiction and its attendant problems to skyrocket.