Retail therapy and online casino gambling can be quite similar in that both of them make you feel happier. The effects of shopping on your brain can lead to addiction and again the same case is true with online gambling. Anyone that has partaken in either of these activities knows the sheer joy of doing that little something just for you, whether it's buying a new outfit or spinning the reels on your favorite slot machine. In this article, we're going to take a look at the brain-based effects of retail therapy and online casino gambling and how you can spot the signs of a problem.
There have been numerous studies into the effects of retail therapy, and it all suggests that there's a lot of psychological and therapeutic value to both shopping and online gambling once it's done in moderation. This is true whether you are buying or playing online, or even visiting your favorite boutiques or casinos for a few hours. Most people who enjoy these things experience an emotional boost and this is where it can get out of hand if you don't moderate it.
There are a number of reasons why both online casino gaming or retail therapy can make you feel better and these are explored below.
Whether it's shopping online or betting on slots and table games at online casinos, you have to be careful not to take it to the extreme. Shopping and indeed casino gambling can become an addiction and for many people around the world, it has. Both of these can shift from being therapeutic to problematic especially if you use them as a way to deal with anxiety, stress, or a means of gaining control. There are specific terms attached to shopping addiction including compulsive buying disorder. It has been estimated that 5% of Americans have compulsive buying disorder and this is increasing due to the rise in online shopping. This condition has a lot in common with other disorders including gambling addiction and online casinos make it easier for addicts to curb their urges. You can play games at any time and with mobile gambling available, it has never been easier to access the best European online casinos.
The gambling market as a whole reached $457 billion gross wins in 2019 and is expected to reach $523 billion by 2024. A recent study by H2 Gambling Capital taken in 2020 has already found that COVID-19 is having an impact on gambling markets around the world. They have published data that suggests that the minimum drop in the global gambling market will be around 1% for the gross win in 2020. Sports betting is the most popular gambling activity in the world accounting for 36% but casino gambling is second - and only increasing with many more USA online casinos opening up for instance. Both of these can be classified further into land-based and online. Land based gambling has been decreasing year on year while online gambling continues to grow, especially in countries like Australia. The total online gambling in 2019 was $61.5 billion in the US and this is expected to grow to over $89 billion by 2024. It is also suggested that restrictions created by the COVID pandemic could see an increase in the online share of the global gambling gross move from 13.4% to 14.7% for 2020.
The global gambling market consists of six regions which are Africa, Asia, Europe, North America, Oceania and Central/South America. The fastest-growing market is Asia with North America and Europe in second and third. The USA is still, however, the largest single market and accounts for $119.5 billion US dollars, 30.2% of the total global gambling gross win in 2019. In fact, the USA, China, Japan, Italy, and the United Kingdom account for 70.80% of the 2019 total gambling gross win.
When looking at problem gambling, the Alberta Gambling Research Institute in Canada reported that there are wide variations in problem gambling rates across the world and these range from 0.5% to 7.6%. The average rate across all countries is 2%. The study carried out in 2017 showed Macau at 6% followed by Hong Kong and then Australia at just under 4%. The United States was just over 2% while Canada was under 2%. The UK was under 1%. The studies carried out into problem gambling and the negative effects that it can have has led to a number of regulatory bodies imposing stricter guidelines on casino operators as well as restrictions on advertising. This can clearly be seen in the UK where the UK Gambling Commission has been enforcing new laws to tackle problem gambling and insisting that casino operators adhere to stricter rules especially in relation to casino bonuses.
The signs that indicate a retail therapy addiction and online gambling addiction are quite similar and they include:
Because of the impact problem gambling can have, many regulatory authorities around the world now insist that online casinos have responsible gambling features in place. This will often include a dedicated page on their website that lists a number of questions that customers can ask themselves if they feel they are developing a problem. This page will include links to helpful organizations. Online casinos in 2022 also include responsible gambling features that players can use at their discretion. They include the ability to set deposit limits, set game session limits, and even self-exclusion periods. The focus on responsible gaming is becoming more prevalent and the best casinos will have these features in place.
The COVID-19 pandemic has seen so many people confined to their homes. They can only leave the house for specific reasons. Many began to succumb to the boredom of lockdown and online gambling served as an exciting break. Some received emails or saw online casino ads offering free spins on top slots or free bets and thought why not. It's a great way to kill some time and you never know, you could win. If you've been tempted, there are some guidelines you should put in place before you start spinning the reels or adding your card details. There is a slogan you should follow which states, "When the fun stops. Stop." It was devised as part of a responsible gambling initiative and it has never been truer than in the pandemic.
If you are going to play real money games online, here are a few rules to follow.
These same rules can be applied to retail therapy. The pandemic has seen an increase in online shopping too with many looking to relieve boredom. Financial difficulties due to furloughs have seen a lot of people turn to retail therapy to cope with the stress and according to figures released, mobile shopping has increased 7.7% but retail therapy doesn't seem to be enough and more and more people are searching for other ways to stay entertained. Online gambling is something that is being used and online casinos are seeing major growth and it is estimated that online gambling revenues will reach $102.9 billion by 2025. Online casinos are weathering the pandemic better than their brick-and-mortar counterparts. Customers can play via their mobiles, tablets, and desktops and receive their winnings effortlessly through e-wallet payment processors.
Sports betting fans are turning to online casinos and virtual sports betting as sporting events were cancelled around the world. Online gambling revenues for online casinos in New Jersey increased by 65.7% when land-based casinos were forced to close in March 2020. Pennsylvania reported similar figures as did online casinos around the world. Unfortunately, behaviors such as online gambling and retail therapy that create excitement can also become an addiction and cause more harm than good. Doing these in moderation is the difference between happiness and enjoyment and compulsiveness.
Regulators and online casinos around the world must pay attention to how consumers are betting and ensure that responsible gambling is at the forefront.