The technoculture related topic that I am going to explore is the phenomenon of Internet gambling. With the emergence and explosion of gambling on television such as the World Series of Poker of ESPN or The World Poker Tour on the Travel Channel, online gaming has quickly become a major player in the technoculture of contemporary society. I feel it is important to explore this issue because of American society's fascination and obsession with gambling. Gambling can and has become a very serious and damaging activity to many people in this country. According to CNN.com, studies have shown that people who gamble on the Internet tend to have more serious addictions than people who wager through more traditional venues. Through my research, I hope to further explore why Internet gambling has the potential to be more dangerous than traditional casinos and how younger generations of Americans and the government are responding to this ever-growing phenomenon.
The research I discovered on Internet gambling is fairly recent and comprehensive. Since online gaming is a reasonably new trend, the material written on the matter was rather current. Furthermore, there was a substantial amount of information within these three sources. It was evident that the three authors conducted high-quality research, and it showed with the use of graphs, charts, and case studies. Also, the three sources had a very similar outlook on the present and future situation of online gaming. With that being said, given that online gaming is at the peak of its existence, it is imperative that further exploration and examination within the subject be carried out. Because of the instant access one has to a gambling venue and the privacy factor of the Internet, online gaming has become a risky undertaking for many. According to David Schwartz (2003), "Internet gambling presents new problems for individuals and society" (p. 214). Instead of driving to an actual physical casino, problem gamblers can enjoy betting in the comforts of their own home. At home, they are not monitored by other gamblers and/or casino personnel which results in the ability to set their own limit. The Internet also allows the gambler to maintain a level of privacy not found in real casinos. If there are no friends or family around to supervise, then the gambler can engage in irresponsible betting without any time constraints. Finally, unlike real casinos, Internet casinos are readily available at the click of a button. If an online gaming organization will not accept one's money, one can bet that there are thousands of others that will be happy to take one's funds. The demographics of gambling are interesting to investigate within the subject. According to Rachel Volberg (2001), "adults ages 18 to 29 are substantially more likely than older adults to have gambled privately" (p. 34). Young adults are also more likely to gamble for excitement compared to older adults (Volberg, 2001). This is not a difficult concept to grasp. Normally, young adults have a less appreciative concept of money because they do not have as great of a responsibility as older people in regards to providing for family, paying bills, and spending money on expenses that are traditionally not familiar to a younger person. Furthermore, young people are usually unsupervised, especially in the collegiate demographic. Without the approval from mommy and daddy, young adults all across America are enjoying the financial freedom to do whatever they want with the money they have. In addition, according to Thomas Barker and Marjie Britz (2000), "many college students have deep pockets Mom and Dad's" (p.139). With this new found autonomy and fiscal assistance from parents, college kids are engaging in online gaming for fun and excitement. However, if left untreated and unsupervised, the fun and excitement can soon turn into a dangerous addiction with serious consequences and...
Cited: Barker, Thomas & Britz, Marjie (2000). Jokers Wild: Legalized Gambling in the Twenty-first Century. Westport, CT: Greenwood Publishing Group, Inc.
Schwartz G., David (2003). Suburban Xanadu: The Casino Resort on the Las Vegas Strip and Beyond. New York, NY: Taylor and Francis Books, Inc.
Volberg A., Rachel (2001). When the Chips Are Down: Problem Gambling in America. New York, NY: The Century Foundation, Inc.
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