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Poker Blog established in 2003 as the first stop for poker news, poker stories, and bad poker advice.

June 15, 2008

Gambling On The Internet

by G-Rob

Good god! Gambling leads to depression! It's true! There was a scientific study.

In the world of obvious investigation, this study "Gambling Linked To Depression" stands out.

Right now, I'm depressed about the fact that I got down to four handed in a sit-n-go and then went broke with a flopped set of Queens. He turned a set of Kings. Such is a depressing life.

That said, look at this awesome information:

GAMBLING is often a symptom of mental health problems, according to Melbourne research that could change the way problem gambling is treated.

The study of more than 2000 Victorians, conducted for the national depression initiative beyondblue, found that problem gamblers were more than 18 times more likely to experience severe psychological distress, more than four times more likely to abuse alcohol, and more than twice as likely to be depressed as people without a gambling problem.

The report, prepared by the Problem Gambling Research and Treatment Centre -- a joint venture between Melbourne and Monash universities and the Victorian Government -- found that more than 70% of problem gamblers were at risk of depression, half used alcohol at hazardous levels and more than a third had a "severe mental disorder."

DUH! I SAY DUH! Have you met the FWALGMAN?

Now, dear reader, a sampling of the OTHER gambling news on the web:

NOW FROM THE "SURELY YOU'RE JOKING!" (AND DON'T CALL ME SHIRLEY!) FILE

This is from no less a gambling authority that the "Times of India." I get all my WSOP coverage from them.

"Drug in alcohol curbs gambling urge"

Seventy seven people participated in the double-blind, placebo controlled study. Fifty eight men and women took 50, 100 or 150 milligrams of naltrexone every day for 18 weeks.

Forty percent of the 49 participants who took the drug and completed the study quit gambling for at least one month. Their urge to gamble also significantly dropped in intensity and frequency.

The other 19 participants took a placebo. But only 10.5 per cent of those who took the placebo were able to abstain from gambling. Study participants were aged between 18 and 75 and reported gambling for 6 to 32 hours each week.

Dosage did not have an impact on the results, naltrexone was generally well tolerated, and men and women reported similar results.

"This is good news for people who have a gambling problem," said Jon Grant of University of Minnesota and principal investigator of the study. "This is the first time people have a proven medication that can help them get their behaviour under control."

The research has been published in the June issue of the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry.

First, let me suggest that if gambling 6 to 32 hours per week qualifies as "gambling addict," I have a very serious problem. I mean VERY serious. Second, I've never been in a casino when I said, "Wait! I don't feel like gambling! I'm too drunk!"

Never happened.

SERIOUSLY, I KID THE "TIMES OF INDIA".

Sadly, those of us who work in the news business are constantly under attack by the evil forces of PR. We take constant flak flak. Some of it is pretty standard crap. Some of it is about as useful as crap.

Here's a real gem from "NewsWireRelease":

"Wall Street Gambling Risks Surpasses Las Vegas"

From 2004-2007 Securities Arbitration Group founder Paul Young conducted a study of 400 adults he and his team interviewed in Las Vegas casinos. The criteria was that the subject is both a regular Las Vegas game player and gambler and, as well, that the person is a Wall Street investor.

"We went in with no preconceived notions. The group was evenly split between males and females, marital status was not an issue, and the age group was between 40-54. Self-stated income ranged from $50,000 to $750,000 annually. Survey participants must have been U.S. citizens. Further, the subjects must have been employed persons or, if married, one of the partners must have been gainfully employed or self-employed," said Young.

The findings: 77% stated that Wall Street investing carries with it a "significantly" higher degree of risk than Las Vegas gambling. This was the most telling conclusion. People, in the Securities Arbitration survey, did not and do not trust Wall Street.

Of those 77% who don't trust Wall Street, when asked the reason many cited the Enron debacle, the Internet/tech boomlet, and others indicated that Wall Streeters "look out for themselves first and are guided by commissions and fees in making recommendations."

Asked about the "burn" rate; that is: Have you been burned by your stockbroker or Wall Street brokerage, 34% said that they had. NO ONE of these 34% said that the did anything about it. When asked as to the reason, ALL said that they did not know that they had any rights or opportunities to resolve disputes with Wall Street. NOT ONE respondent had heard of the term "securities arbitration."

"I concluded that the findings confirmed what I have suspected for 20 years: That Wall Street is more of a risky gamble than Las Vegas in the eyes of most Americans, that burned or abused Main Street investors don't know of securities arbitration and their rights of recovery when and if they have been burned. We learned that so many people are ripped off by Wall Street and fail to take action, ergo they are guaranteed to lose twice," said Young.

I love this guy's conclusion. I asked gamblers in Las Vegas if Wall Street is riskier than gambling in Las Vegas. They said yes. Therefore, I conclude that everything gamblers in Las Vegas tell me is true.

Yeesh. The really scary part is that this kind of PR garbage always ends up making it into SOMEONE'S newscast. Scary Stuff.

Let's just say I'm not planning to turn my 401k over to anyone on a roulette hot streak.

NOW TO SEX, DRUGS, AND GAMBLING! WE SAVE THE BEST FOR LAST!

Just enjoy this headline from the London Telegraph :

"As the UK Economy Slows Should We Invest In Drink, Gambling, And Fornication?"

In a word,

YES.

| G-Rob's Thoughts