WOW! I was surprised by some statistics in a recent medical journal article, “Internet Gambling: an Emerging Concern in Family Practice Medicine.” (And sort of surprised that internet gambling has hit the mainstream of academic medicine so soon… but maybe I’m just behind of how big a problem internet gambling addiction is!)
Here’s what they found in patients waiting for routine medical or dental appointments…
6.9% of people reported ever gambling on the internet, and 2.8% said they frequently wagered online.
But look at this… Almost 2/3’s of regular online gamblers met the criteria for probable pathological gamblers. WOW! That means that if you do internet gambling, it’s more likely than not that you’ll have pathological gambling behavior!!
They also found that online gambling was associated with poor mental and physical health.
As the Captain used to say in Hill Street Blues… Let’s be careful out there!
(Family Practice 2006 23(4): 421-426.)