Attitude to iGaming: A Study of Casino Games, Sports Betting and Lottery

May 02, 2023
Gambling has been a popular source of entertainment

For centuries, gambling has been a popular source of entertainment, providing both casual and adventurous individuals with the chance to test their luck and potentially earn a large payout. The world of iGaming is huge, with people holding varying opinions on the available products. In a previous article, titled – iGaming Media: Restrictions and Regulation, we explored the regulation of gambling marketing and its limitations. In this article, we will examine the mixed perceptions surrounding different iGaming products, beginning with an examination of some of the main reasons for this ambivalence.

The main reasons for this ambivalence

Reason 1: Perception of risk

One of the base factors influencing the mixed attitudes towards iGaming products is the perception of risk. Some forms of gambling, like sports betting and casino games, are often considered high-risk activities that could result in significant financial losses. On the other hand, lotteries are viewed as a relatively low-risk option due to their affordable ticket prices and rare, yet substantial, payouts. This perception of risk is often mirrored in the regulatory framework surrounding different iGaming products, with certain jurisdictions imposing stricter regulations on activities that are considered higher-risk.

Reason 2: Social acceptability

Additionally, some iGaming products are viewed as more socially acceptable than others. For instance, bingo is generally perceived as harmless entertainment, while activities such as roulette, sports betting, poker, or blackjack can be associated with negative stereotypes such as addiction and reckless behavior. This case is intriguing since, in essence, people do not typically consider bingo or lotteries as forms of gambling.

Reason 3: Availability

The availability and accessibility of iGaming products are also significant factors that contribute to the formation of attitudes towards them. In certain countries, lotteries are government-operated and subject to strict regulations, making them broadly available. Conversely, casino games and sports betting may be subject to limitations or even banned. This divergent regulatory approach within a country can be a crucial factor in shaping people’s perceptions of iGaming. For many individuals, what is authorized and permitted by the government is deemed acceptable. In contrast, products that are prohibited often result in a negative attitude towards them.

Reason 4: Marketing and promotion

Finally, the marketing and promotion of various gambling products can also affect people’s attitudes towards them. For instance, lotteries and bingo are often marketed as an enjoyable and thrilling opportunity to win a substantial prize, while advertising for sports betting and casino games is usually restricted or prohibited. However, in some countries, advertising for these products may be permitted but subject to strict rules, such as prohibiting operators from suggesting that playing these games can solve financial issues.

The language and imagery used in marketing campaigns can significantly influence how different iGaming products are perceived and can contribute to the varying attitudes towards them.

A closer examination

One of the primary arguments put forward by opponents of iGaming is the potential for addiction, such as in the case of slot games or sports betting. Interestingly, there is less discussion of addiction related to lotteries. It is likely that the widespread availability and acceptance of lotteries in many countries have contributed to their positive image.

The varying attitudes towards iGaming products are the result of a complex interplay between all of the aforementioned factors. However, it is worth delving a bit deeper into the topic and examining some iGaming products from a different perspective.

Positive perception of lotteries

In general, society tends to condemn most iGaming activities. However, lotteries are an exception as they are widely popular and trusted. Many people consider lotteries to be exciting and acceptable, as they offer the possibility of winning big prizes, and the revenue generated from the sale of lottery tickets often goes towards supporting social programs such as education, culture, or healthcare. Despite being a form of gambling, lotteries are not typically perceived as such.

It is worth noting that lottery operators often target vulnerable individuals, with lower-income individuals more likely to spend a higher percentage of their income on lottery tickets. This is because lotteries promote a “get rich quick” mentality. Although many societies seem to approve of the idea of spending millions for a chance to “get rich quick”, such an approach can lead to unrealistic expectations and financial irresponsibility. Many governments allow lottery ticket sales points to be placed in numerous locations, without considering the potential negative impact on society.

It is also worth mentioning that lotteries typically have some of the highest House Edges, ranging from 7 to 30%. This means that lottery owners can earn substantial profits, while the probability of winning for players is extremely low. The outcome of the game does not depend on the player in any way, and winning is purely a matter of luck. In contrast, casino games such as blackjack provide players with more opportunities to win, as they can use strategies and skills to increase their chances of winning.

Casino games

When comparing casino games with lotteries, it becomes apparent that casino games are generally more honest and transparent. In a casino, the rules of the game are clearly defined, and players can determine the probability of winning for each bet. While it is important to be careful with scammers, they exist in every sphere of life, and gambling is no exception. Many countries are taking steps to regulate iGaming, and operators are increasingly implementing responsible gaming rules.

Criticism of iGaming

Despite the perceived benefits of iGaming, many individuals continue to criticize these activities, highlighting negative aspects such as the potential for addiction and financial losses. Furthermore, there is an opinion that iGaming is detrimental to society since it contributes to the uneven distribution of wealth and can exacerbate social problems. Casino games and sports betting are often associated with an unsavory lifestyle, scams, and crime. However, it is important to note that the same arguments can be applied to lotteries since they can also lead to dependence and financial losses. Nevertheless, different regulations apply to these activities, despite all of them falling under the umbrella of iGaming.

Different forms of iGaming have their unique characteristics and appeal, but the level of their negative impact on individuals and society varies. The crucial factor is a responsible approach to iGaming, legislative regulation, and social awareness, which can help mitigate the consequences of gambling and make it less harmful for participants and society. As mentioned earlier, the regulation of lotteries makes them more accessible and less dangerous for people. In countries where casinos are prohibited, there are often numerous underground and illegal businesses. In such cases, operators are not concerned with responsible gaming, as their primary objective is to maximize the amount of money spent by players. This often leads to fraudulent activities, and victims are unable to sue the institution since they also became a part of an illegal operation by participating in underground gambling. Therefore, it is essential to regulate all types of iGaming to promote a positive attitude towards honest and regulated forms of gambling.

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