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Online Gambling Bait and Switch

Online Gambling Bait and SwitchOnline gambling just got a little bit more tempting as internet gambling sites implement new strategies enticing players to pay to play. Players frequently visit websites that host gambling “just to have a look” but are soon playing games such as blackjack and poker as if they were in a casino. The prospective customers of these gambling sites may not realize it, but they are being enticed to play by “free play” and “demo” versions. Usually these versions allow someone to play just for points and may be viewed as beneficial because they allow one to practice and build skill in preparation for the real thing.

Please be aware that these demo or free play versions are often rigged to allow someone to win more easily. Of course there is no real gambling involved…yet. The idea behind these “easy-to-win” demo versions is to fool the prospective gambler into thinking that he is lucky or skilled in the game and therefore likely to win money should he bet for real. Research conducted by psychologists at the University of Laval in Canada demonstrated it was much more common to win while playing a “demo” or “free play” version of the game. It was also more common for players to have an extended winning streak during a session of the demo version.

Obviously, once gamblers started playing for real and money was involved, the odds of winning were considerably reduced. What a rip-off! Talk about the old bait-and-switch! And the double whammy is this: additional research shows that gambling in the money-free was the single most important predictor of whether a young person had actually gambled for money. However, we needn’t rush to conclusions, as the amount of responsibility we place on money-free gambling is still up in the air as further research is still needed.

Research is showing that playing for free, including the alluring “demo” versions, are popular among teenagers. Since there is a high correlation between playing these sites, and getting involved with the real thing, I really hope people know what they are getting themselves into.

As a consumer who doesn’t want to waste money, I can’t help but wonder about online gambling in which you are really just playing against a computer. Other online people may be involved but what are the real odds of winning? Are these sites rigged and/or meant to be addictive? We know for sure that they are meant to attract people and keep them interested. Just like a real casino, the appearance is meant to be glitzy and glamorous so that a spellbinding effect is produced, sending the player into a subconscious state of awe and causing them to lose their sense of time. Gambling has certainly proven to be addictive, ruining households and driving people into bankruptcy. If you suspect that you have a problem with gambling, I would suggest that you stay away from any online gambling sites.


Source: Griffiths, Mark. “Nothing Ventured, Nothing Gained?” Psychology Today, 4 Mar. 2013. Web. 5 Mar. 2013.


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Kevin Giles is a product of Santa Cruz, CA – the stoner capitol of the world. A born again Christian, Kevin loves his Lord Jesus and believes that his purpose in life is determined by God. He first entered drug recovery at the age of 19, suffering from an addiction to marijuana. He is a recent graduate of the Assemblies of God Theological Seminary, where he earned his Master’s degree in Christian Ministry. Passionate about God’s Word, he aspires to become a pastor or missionary. Kevin has also earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Kinesiology from California State University, Monterey Bay. His interests include traveling, movies, golf, fitness and reading. He also enjoys being outdoors as well as spending time with friends and family. Kevin’s faith, education and life experience give him a unique perspective on addiction, recovery and spirituality.

Filed under: Addiction · Tags: bankruptcy, Blackjack, casino, gambling, gambling addiction, Games, Internet Gambling, money, Online, Poker, Slot Machine is operated by Recovery Brands LLC, a subsidiary of American Addiction Centers, Inc.
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