Online gambling (or Internet gambling) is any kind of gambling conducted on the internet. This includes virtual poker, casinos, and sports betting. The first online gambling venue opened to the general public, was ticketing for the Liechtenstein International Lottery in October 1994. Today the market is worth around $40 billion globally each year, according to various estimates.
Many countries restrict or ban online gambling. However, it is legal in some states of the United States, some provinces in Canada, most countries of the European Union, and several nations in the Caribbean.
In many legal markets, online gambling service providers are required by law to have some form of license if they wish to provide services or advertise to residents there. For example, the United Kingdom Gambling Commission or the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board in the USA.
Many online casinos and gambling companies around the world choose to base themselves in tax havens near to their main markets. These destinations include Gibraltar, Malta, and Alderney in Europe, and in Asia, the Special Administrative Region of Macau was long considered a tax haven and known base for gambling operators in the region. However, in 2018 the EU removed Macau from their list of black-listed tax havens.
History of Betting(Online Gambling)
In 1994, Antigua and Barbuda passed the Free Trade & Processing Act, allowing licenses to be granted to organizations applying to open online casinos. Before online casinos, the first fully functional gambling software was developed by Microgaming, an Isle of Man-based software company. This was secured with software developed by CryptoLogic, an online security software company. Safe transactions became viable; this led to the first online casinos in 1994.
1996 saw the establishment of the Kahnawake Gaming Commission, which regulated online gaming activity from the Mohawk Territory of Kahnawake and issues gaming licenses to many of the world's online casinos and poker rooms. This is an attempt to keep the operations of licensed online gambling organizations fair and transparent.
In the late 1990s, online gambling gained popularity; there were only fifteen gambling websites in 1996, but that had increased to 200 websites by the following year. A report published by Frost & Sullivan revealed that online gambling revenues had exceeded $830 million in 1998 alone. In the same year, the first online poker rooms were introduced Soon afterward in 1999, the Internet Gambling Prohibition Act was introduced as a bill in the US Senate; it would have meant that a company could not offer any online gambling product to any U.S citizen. But it did not pass. Multiplayer online gambling was also introduced in 1999.
In 2000, the first Australian Federal Government passed the Interactive Gambling Moratorium Act, making it illegal for any online casino not licensed and operating before May 2000 to operate. This meant Lasseter's Online became the only online casino able to operate legally in Australia; however, they cannot take bets from Australian citizens.
By 2001, the estimated number of people who had participated in online gambling rose to 8 million, and growth continued, despite continuing legal challenges to online gambling.
In 2008, H2 Gambling Capital estimated worldwide online gambling revenue at $21 billion.
In 2016, Statista predicted that the online gambling market would reach $45.86 billion, growing to $56.05 billion by 2018.
Wide Range of Gambling Options
The Internet has allowed new types of gambling to be available online. Improvements in technology have changed betting habits just as video lottery terminals, keno, and scratchcards changed the gambling industry in the 20th century.
Gambling has become one of the most popular and lucrative businesses on the Internet. In 2007 the UK Gambling Commission stated that the gambling industry had achieved a turnover of over £84 billion. This is partly due to the wide range of gambling options available to many different types of people. An article by Darren R. Christensen, Nicki A. Dowling, Alun C. Jackson, and Shane A. Thomas said that a survey recorded in Australia showed that the most common forms of gambling were lotteries (46.5%), keno (24.3%), instant scratch tickets (24.3%), and electronic gaming machines (20.5%).
Online poker tables commonly offer Texas hold 'em, Omaha, Seven-card stud, razz, HORSE and other game types in both tournament and Cash game structures. Players play against each other rather than the "house", with the card room making its money through "rake" and through tournament fees.
There are a large number of online casinos in which people can play casino games such as roulette, blackjack, pachinko, baccarat, and many others. These games are played against the "house" which makes money because the odds are in its favor.
3. Sports betting
Sports betting is the activity of predicting sports results and placing a wager on the outcome. Usually, the wager is in the form of money.
Online bingo is the game of bingo (US|non-US) played on the Internet.
Most lotteries are run by governments and are heavily protected from competition due to their ability to generate large taxable cash flows. The first online lotteries were run by private individuals or companies and licensed to operate by small countries. Most private online lotteries have stopped trading as governments have passed new laws giving themselves and their own lotteries greater protection. Government-controlled lotteries now offer their games online.
6. UK National Lottery
The UK National Lottery started in 1994 and is operated by the Camelot Group. Around 70% of UK adults play the National Lottery regularly, making the average annual sales over £5 billion apart from the year 2000-01 where sales dropped just below that. In its first seventeen years, it has created over 2,800 millionaires.
In 2002 Camelot decided to rebrand the National Lottery main draw after falling ticket sales. The name National Lottery was kept as the general name for the organization and the main draw was renamed Lotto. The advertising campaign for the new Lotto cost £72 million which included ten television advertisements featuring Scottish comedian Billy Connolly and one of the largest ever poster campaigns. The new brand and name had the slogan:
7. Horse racing betting
Horse racing betting comprises a significant percentage of online gambling wagers and all major Internet bookmakers, betting exchanges, and sportsbooks offer a wide variety of horse racing betting markets.
Horse wagering using online methods across state lines is legal in several states in the United States. In 2006, the NTRA and various religious organizations lobbied in support of an act in Congress meant to limit online gambling. Some critics of the bill argued that the exemption of horse racing wagering was an unfair loophole. In response, the NTRA responded that the exemption was "a recognition of existing federal law", not a new development. Interstate wagering on horse racing was first made legal under the Interstate Horseracing Act written in 1978. The bill was rewritten in the early 2000s to include the Internet in closed-circuit websites, including simulcast racing, as compared to simply phones or other forms of communication.
8. Mobile gambling
Mobile gambling refers to playing games of chance or skill for money by using a remote device such as a tablet computer, smartphone, or a mobile phone with a wireless Internet connection.
9. In-play gambling
In-play gambling is a feature on many online sports betting websites that allows the user to bet while the event is in progress. A benefit of live in-play gambling is that there are many more markets. For example, in Association football a user could bet on which player will receive the next Yellow card, or which team will be awarded the next corner kick.
10. Advance-deposit wagering
Advance-deposit wagering (ADW) is a form of gambling on the outcome of horse races in which the bettor must fund his or her account before being allowed to place bets. ADW is often conducted online or by phone. In contrast to ADW, credit shops allow wagers without advance funding; accounts are settled at month-end. Racetrack owners, horse trainers, and state governments sometimes receive a share of ADW revenues.
Funds Transfers Modes
The money for online gambling can come from credit card, electronic check, certified check, money order, wire transfer, or cryptocurrencies. Normally, gamblers upload funds to the online gambling company, make bets or play the games that it offers, and then cash out any winnings. Gamblers can often fund gambling accounts by credit card or debit card, and cash out winnings directly back to the card; most U.S. banks, however, prohibit the use of their cards for the purpose of Internet gambling, and attempts by Americans to use credit cards at Internet gambling sites are usually rejected. A number of electronic money services offer accounts with which online gambling can be funded.
Unlimited Betting Opportunities
The vastly expanded sports betting markets that are available in modern online sports betting was consistently identified by the problem gamblers as an important factor in extending the length of gambling sessions. This specific structural feature was considered to be particularly relevant when participants were motivated to continue sessions started earlier in the evening and chase mounting losses further into the night. The significance of the vast array of sporting markets available online relates to the restrictive nature of betting solely on British-based or mainland Europe-based sporting events, in terms of their availability and timing. Online gambling has always been devoid of the restrictive opening hours in most forms of commercial gambling in Britain. However, previously, with respect to online sports betting in Britain, the lack of a closing time had less significance on gambling behavior because often, there would be minimal sports betting opportunities available during unsociable hours. Aside from high-profile international sports such as North American professional leagues such as the NFL and NBA, traditionally, there has been limited opportunity to continue sports betting during late-night gambling sessions for British online sports gamblers. Currently, at any time of the day, there is a multitude of sporting events starting every few minutes to continue one’s sports betting session online. International sporting markets available also include amateur and semi-professional events, such as under-17 soccer games, and the inclusion of these lower-profile events substantially increases the available opportunities to gamble.
For example, a British-based customer, participant 11 at 11 pm placed a bet on who would win the first point in a Brazilian volleyball game, followed by betting on the total first-half goals market in an under-21 Australian soccer game. The online operator often compensated for the lack of familiarity of international and low-profile sporting events by providing customers with statistical information to help inform betting selections and frequently provide live streaming of the event to retain the customer sports betting experience that one finds regularly available with higher profile sporting events.
Whereas previously, British-based sports bettors were restricted to the British and European sporting calendar or international ante-post markets, modern online sports betting operators offer the customer a wide variety of sports betting opportunities late at night and in the early morning. The data has clearly demonstrated that when problem gamblers were motivated to chase recent gambling losses, they would frequently continue sports betting on unfamiliar and low-profile sporting events, indicating that this was not a predetermined strategy.
As indicated by participant 1, in modern online sports betting, there is motivation to persist gambling during a losing session because there are constant opportunities to quickly make further sports bets and chase losses. For example,
Fundamentally, the cyclical online sports betting loop consistently observed in the grounded theory is facilitated by the vast offering of sporting markets available to customers who are motivated to persist gambling and extend the duration of their session after having accumulated significant losses.
1. Live Betting
The introduction of live betting options further increased the opportunity for problem gamblers, motivated to chase losses, to persist and extend online sports betting sessions (Table 2). Live betting, often referred to as in-play or in-running betting, is the act of placing a bet after a sporting event has commenced. Effectively, this means that online sports bettors are no longer limited and restricted to betting on events that will commence in the future, and customers can now rapidly re-engage by placing a bet in an ongoing sporting event. The problem gamblers within this study would frequently place multiple live bets simultaneously, and when a bet provided winning returns, funds were rapidly re-staked on further live bets. This increase in ability to quickly re-stake winnings or continue betting in response to gambling losses by the perennial availability of live betting options meant that there is less requirement for breaks in play during modern online sports betting sessions.
Previously, before live betting, a customer may have been forced to pause during a gambling session as they wait for a new event to commence. Breaks in play can provide an important opportunity for problem gamblers to evaluate gambling behavior in combination with a reduction in the arousal and emotional responses stimulated by the preceding sports betting outcomes.
2. Micro-Event Betting
Micro-event betting relates to the deconstruction of sporting events into smaller, stand-alone units that customers can bet on rather than on the full event. For example, rather than betting on the outcome of a basketball match, it is also possible to bet on the winner of a specific quarter of the basketball match. Micro-event betting increases the betting opportunities and therefore the flexibility available to online gambling customers, because similar to live betting, the customer is no longer restricted to betting on events before they commence. Furthermore, the deconstruction of sporting events into several individual units often has the impact of reducing the duration of bet. Put simply, if a customer wants to bet on tennis, they can receive feedback on whether they win or lose much more rapidly if they bet on who will win the next point, game, or set, in contrast to betting on the outcome of the full match.
The data revealed that the implication of betting on micro-events for problem gamblers is that it facilitated higher event frequency and shorter event duration in sports betting and that the rapidity of feedback on gambling outcomes enabled participants to either immediately re-stake winnings or commence loss-chasing. The availability of micro-event betting may have benefits in terms of customer experience, as it provides more flexibility; however, it is evident from the data that it can be used to increase the speed and event frequency of sports betting and ultimately facilitate extensive and intensive online sports betting sessions for problem gamblers. Table 3 is a truncated extract of micro-events betting from larger 168-min online sports betting session and provides a brief illustration of the intensity possible in online sports betting sessions in terms of speed of play and outcome feedback and the number of transactions that can occur within a relatively short time period. In the extract presented in Table 3, the mean time between bet placement and the returning of funds into one’s account was 149.9 s for each bet. Moreover, participant 11 placed 22 different bets in 168 min, culminating in 51 account transactions within that time period. The opportunity to bet on micro-events has facilitated problem gamblers in this sample to engage in rapid, intensive online sports betting sessions, which is in contrast to traditional forms of retail sports betting such as on- and off-course betting.
3. Cash Out
In many instances, modern online sports betting operators permit customers to ‘cash out’ bets on sporting events that have not finished. Cashing out effectively terminates the original bet and the customer is returned to their account, a mutually agreed monetary sum that reflects the probability of the original bet winning based upon the current status of the sporting event. The amount cashed out during the event may be more or less than the original amount staked and therefore could be interpreted to be a win or a loss on this basis.
With respect to the online sports betting loop that consistently emerged within the data, cash-out becomes relevant as a mechanism for extending the online sports betting sessions. If a customer has placed a bet and used all their available funds from their online account and wishes to continue to gamble and place further bets, in many instances, they will have the potential to cash out and therefore make funds available within their account that can be re-staked on different bets. With respect to the duration of sports betting sessions and facilitating the continuation of the sports betting loop process, cashing out becomes particularly important when the original bet appears to be unlikely to win. If a customer’s account funds are depleted, and they were without the option to cash out a probable losing bet and retain at least a proportion of the original amount staked, the sports betting session would be shorter than if money could be retrieved and re-staked elsewhere via cashing out.
In Table 4, participant 5 is observed repeatedly using the cash-out function to cancel bets that appear likely to lose and retrieve a proportion of the money that was originally staked. In this example, participant 5, on each occasion, was losing a large percentage of the original stake when cashing out. Furthermore, as observed consistently across the cohort data, money retrieved via the cash-out function was re-staked rapidly. Within the extracted behavioral data illustrated in Table 4, the mean length of time between the cashed out funds returning to the participant’s account and the placement of further bets was 196.5 s.
4. Instant Depositing
The process of the Online Sports Betting Loop that emerged from the data, reflecting the continuous and persistent approach to sports betting observed, was also readily facilitated by the speed of which customers could replenish their depleted accounts through instantaneous depositing mechanisms online. The speed at which customers can deposit further funds to continue sports betting online when their account was empty meant that there are minimal enforced breaks in play and that decisions to deposit further funds and to persist gambling were made with alacrity. Participant 18 proposed that the rapidity in which a customer can make gambling decisions can impede the quality of their evaluations, particularly when they are making decisions in a state of arousal and negative valence in response to recent negative gambling outcomes.
In addition to the ability to deposit funds almost immediately after one’s online gambling account is empty, the continuation and extension of the Online Sports Betting Loop were also facilitated by the capacity to cancel and reverse monetary withdrawals that had recently been made. In other words, after losing all remaining gambling funds in one’s account, it is possible to reactively supersede previous monetary decisions to transfer a proportion of winnings to one’s bank account and instead make these funds immediately available to re-stake on further bets. As illustrated by participant 90 below, there is scope for customers to make emotionally driven monetary decisions that they have not fully evaluated.
Environmental Cues to Reinitiate Online Sports Betting
In addition to the structural features of online gambling appearing to facilitate a continuous loop of sports betting until the participant is either fatigued or has depleted their available resources, there are also situational features related to online gambling in the general environment that motivates re-engagement. It was very common for the problem gamblers observed in this study to engage in multiple, significant online sports betting sessions per day, even when there had been a significant interval between sessions (i.e. several hours of break-in play). One of the most prominent environmental factors that appeared to trigger a return to gambling is the awareness of the constant availability of online gambling via information technology.
Problem Gambling and Modern Online Sports Betting
The increase in online sports betting consumption, and the increase of online sports betting being identified as a causal factor in problem gambling treatment facilities, appears more comprehensible after analyzing the behavioral patterns in this cohort of the problem online sports gamblers. Previous research has suggested that the ease of access to online sports betting and the proliferation of online sports gambling marketing were likely to increase the risk of gambling-related harm in this format (Hing et al. 2017; Killick and Griffiths 2018). Furthermore, several researchers also proposed that the increase in potential event frequency available within modern online gambling was also likely to be a risk factor for increased gambling-related harm, as it created the potential for online sports betting to become a continuous gambling format (Hing et al. 2014b; Lopez-Gonzalez et al. 2017). Not only did the current study support these propositions through behavioral and qualitative data, but it also provided a mechanistic framework that demonstrates how the aforementioned contextual and structural factors interact and produced combined behavioral effects. Essentially, the new contextual and structural risk factors for harm appeared to combine to facilitate continuous gambling in online sports betting formats until funds were exhausted, leading to sessions with high expenditure and a long duration.
The ease of access via mobile technology, the ability to reverse withdrawals, and ubiquitous online sports betting marketing in the everyday environment meant that participants were experiencing increased environmental cues to either initiate or re-engage with, online sports betting. This increased exposure to online sports betting cues was reported in interview data and observed in behavioral data to be difficult to resist, especially when motivated to chase recent losses. In other words, situational features of the everyday environment made it difficult for the problem gamblers to create ‘mental separation’ from the behavior, which is likely to be necessary to dissipate states of desire and negative arousal and to implement inhibition and self-control.
The scope for mentally disassociating and maintaining cognitive and behavioral control in online sports betting also appeared to be significantly reduced because of the elimination of many natural forms of breaks in play that exist in retail sports betting. Previously, the rate of play in sports betting was restricted by the periodic commencement and cessations of full
sporting events, like horse races and soccer games, and therefore provided frequent periods of non-gambling. Because of the provision of live betting, vast international and amateur markets, and micro-events betting in modern online sports betting, gamblers can essentially participate continuously as there is a constant stream of sports betting opportunities readily available.
The patterns of disordered gambling that emerged in the current study are strongly supportive of the existing literature, which proposed a relationship between disordered gambling and the use of live betting. Evidence from self-report and correlational data observed that gambling problems increased with the amount of live betting conducted in proportion to total bets made (Hing et al. 2018b; LaBrie et al. 2007; Lopez-Gonzalez et al. 2018). Previous research emphasized the transformation of sports betting in online domains into a largely impulsive activity, in contrast to sports betting being approached as a skillful activity that involves considered assessment of selections and that this transformation is driven by the new structural characteristics of modern online sports betting sites (Hing et al. 2015, 2018b). The current study not only supports these conclusions but has produced a theoretical mechanism that attempts to explain the behavioral process of rapid, continuous impulsive online sports betting, and it is evident from the current study that the features of live betting and cash out appear to be central in impulsive disordered gambling patterns in online sports betting, supporting previous conclusions (Lopez-Gonzalez et al. 2017, 2018). Auer and Griffiths (2016) proposed that live betting was particularly reinforcing to problem gamblers who were drawn to the rapid betting cycles. In live betting, outcomes are determined in a much shorter time-frame, which in turn facilitates higher frequency and more impulsive betting behavior (Auer and Griffiths 2016). The current study supports this conclusion by demonstrating quite clearly, in this cohort of online problem sports bettors at least, that the use of live betting and the associated cash out feature are being used to enable high-frequency sports betting. The high-frequency online sports betting across sessions of both short and long duration could only be categorized as being impulsive when observing the amount of time elapsed between bets and how quickly money returned to the account through wins or cashouts is re-staked on further bets.
With respect to the rapid, impulsive sports betting observed, another natural break in play that has been eliminated in modern online sports betting is the removal of the need to leave the immediate betting environment to access further funds. The use of debit and credit cards in gambling environments, including online, has been established for many years. However, it is important to acknowledge to what extent the process of depositing further funds has been truncated in modern online sports betting. Behavioral data has demonstrated that problem gamblers could replenish funds and engage in further gambling in a handful of seconds of losing their last account funds, with the use of instant deposit features, in contrast to having to transfer from the gambling section to the account section of the website to make further deposits.
Ultimately, research indicates that even an extra few seconds of respite between betting behaviors can be a sufficient opportunity to evaluate behavior and reduce risk-taking and overall gambling expenditure (Corr and Thompson 2014). It is argued that the nature of continuous gambling activities, with minimal natural or enforced breaks in play, creates intense emotional and dissociative states, leading to impaired gambling decision-making and maladaptive responding (Coates and Blaszczynski 2013; Loba et al. 2001). Fundamentally, a break in play is required to facilitate the suppression of arousal and negative valence and to respond adaptively to negative outcomes (Newman and Lorenz 2003; Verbruggen et al. 2012). Arguably, it is the rapid and continuous nature of electronic gambling machines that make that gambling format most associated with gambling-related harm (Belisle and Dixon 2016). From the current study, it is evident that online sports betting has the capacity to be used as a rapid and continuous gambling format, and therefore, one can expect the associated risk for gambling-related harm to increase as a result.
There are multiple limitations when using behavioral data from online problem gamblers, including the acknowledgment that the data only represents online gambling behavior, and the recording of offline behavioral data is dependent on self-report. Furthermore, it is important to recognize that despite the previously outlined advantages of conducting online interviews with remote samples, there are limitations to this methodological approach. For example, the asynchronous nature of the online interaction can limit the scope for rapport to develop between the interviewer and interviewee and could lead to more abrupt and less conversational data (Jowett et al. 2011). Moreover, the online gambling behavioral data were taken from one operator, and it is acknowledged that often, online gamblers use more than one operator simultaneously (Blaszczynski et al. 2014). In addition, grounded theory analysis requires the researcher to be selective about the direction in which to direct data collection, based on pragmatic evaluations of relevance to the research aims (Strauss and Corbin 1998; Willig 2008), and this may create an interpreter bias. The behavioral patterns outlined within the current study do not represent an exhaustive account of all behavioral processes observed from this cohort of problem online sports gamblers. However, the objective of the current study was to generate a substantive understanding of how the contextual and structural features of modern online sports betting combine and support problematic gambling patterns, rather than accounting for all gambling behavior observed. The grounded theory produced does not represent an empirically validated model but instead provides a mechanistic overview of the most salient behavioral patterns of gambling-related harm in online sports betting. Pragmatically, this has enabled the proposition of multiple directions for future research, and most importantly, it provides a grounded foundation for initiation for trialing problem gambling prevention and intervention strategies.
List of Mergers and Acquisitions in Online Gambling
- The Stars Group (including Sky Betting & Gaming) acquired by Flutter
- SBTech acquired by Draftkings
- CG Technology acquired by William Hill
- Stride Gaming acquired by Rank Group
- Costa Bingo, City Bingo, and Sing Bingo acquired by 888
- Betbright acquired by 888
- Adjarabet acquired by Flutter
- Mr. Green acquired by William Hill
- Sidelines.io acquired by Natural Intelligence
- Neds.com.au (Australia) acquired by GVC
- FanDuel acquired by Paddy Power Betfair
- Sky Bet acquired by The Stars Group
- Ladbrokes Coral acquired by GVC
- Crystalbet acquired by GVC
- William Hill Australia acquired by The Stars Group
- Crownbet acquired by The Stars Group
- IPS acquired by LeoVegas
- Tabcorp merger with Tatts Group
- Mondogoal acquired by Global Daily Fantasy Sports
- Royal Panda acquired by LeoVegas
- NYX acquired by Scientific Games
- Forbet acquired by Fortuna
- Winga.it acquired by LeoVegas
- RCS Gaming (gazzabet.it) acquired by Sportpesa
- Football Pools acquired by OpCapita
- Touchbet acquired by Sporting Index
- NetplayTV acquired by Betsson
- Premier Casino acquired by Betsson
- 32Red acquired by Kindred Group
- Dansk Underholding Limited acquired by Mr. Green
- Draft acquired by Paddy Power Betfair
- Hattrick Sports Group acquired by Fortuna
- Betfair merged with Paddy Power (now Flutter Entertainment)
- Ladbrokes merged with Gala Coral (now Ladbrokes Coral)
- Bwin Party acquired by GVC
- Sisal acquired by CVC Capital Partners
- Tipico (majority stake) acquired by CVC Capital Partners
- Best Gaming Technology (BGT) acquired by Playtech
- Grand Parade acquired by William Hill
- Open Bet acquired by NYX Gaming
- Inspired Gaming acquired by Hydra Industries (renamed Inspired Entertainment Inc)
- TonyBet acquired by Betsson
- Sky Betting and Gaming (majority stake) acquired by CVC Capital Partners
- International Game Technology acquired by GTECH (later renamed IGT)
- Chartwell and Cryptologic (sold by Amaya) acquired by NYX Gaming
- HRTV (now TVG2) acquired by Betfair
- Stan James acquired by Unibet
- Gala Bingo (sold by Gala Coral) acquired by Caledonia Investments plc
- iGame Group acquired by Unibet
- Yoyo Games acquired by Playtech
- Rational Group (PokerStars) acquired by Amaya
- Probability Plc acquired by GTECH
- Betstar acquired by Ladbrokes
- Oranje Casino and Kroon Casino acquired by Betsson
- Betdaq acquired by Ladbrokes
- Gaming Investments (Bookmaker.com.au) acquired by Ladbrokes
- Tom Waterhouse acquired by William Hill
- Centrebet and Sportingbet (Australia) acquired by William Hill
- Sportingbet acquired by GVC.
- Blue Square acquired by Betfair
- Gala Casinos acquired by Rank Group
- American Wagering Inc acquired by William Hill
- Cryptologic acquired by Amaya
- Nordic Betting (Bet24) acquired by Unibet
- Ongame (sold by Bwin) acquired by Amaya
- PartyGaming merged with Bwin (to create Bwin.Party)
- Centrebet acquired by Sportingbet
- Betsafe acquired by Betsson
- Cayetano acquired by Paddy Power
- Sportsbet.com.au acquired by Paddy Power
- Virtue Fusion acquired by Playtech
- TVG acquired by Betfair
- World Poker Tour (WPT) acquired by Party Poker
- Betterbet.com acquired by Stan James
- Oddschecker acquired by BSkyB (now Sky Betting and Gaming)
- Sponsio acquired by Ladbrokes
- Maria Holdings acquired by Unibet
- Bowmans.com acquired by Bet365
- GTECH acquired by Lottomatica (later renamed GTECH)
- Timeform acquired by Betfair
- Gala merged with Coral Eurobet (to create Gala Coral)
- PokerChamps.com acquired by Betfair
- Ongame acquired by Bwin
- Casino Club acquired by GVC
- Blue Square acquired by Rank
- Flutter.com merged with Betfair
- Sports Internet Group acquired by BSkyB (now Sky Betting and Gaming)
Implications and Conclusion
There is a clear consensus in the literature regarding the urgent need to improve understanding of problem online sports betting behavior and to develop effective online sports betting prevention and intervention strategies.
From the current study, it is evident that a priority for harm reduction in online sports betting is to implement scope for more breaks in play and implement a reduction in the continuous betting loop that was observed across all participants. Breaks in play can be implemented in two distinct approaches: principally, operator-enforced breaks in play and/or self-imposed breaks in play.
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