The term colloquia stems from the Latin root colloqu, which means to speak. There are a couple of different variations of the colloquia and they all relate back to discussions in one form or another. Colloquia is actually the plural form of colloquium, which is a conference of scholars and academics where they can discuss a variety of topics and papers. Colloquial is just another term for conversationally. When deciding on a name for our site, colloquia seemed like the perfect fit. Our purpose it start a conversation about the past and future of gambling.
Often times, when you type the word ‘gambling’ into your search bar, thousands of sites will come back offering deals on slot machines, poker tournaments, or sports betting, but finding academic research in this field can be a bit more daunting. Here at colloquia.ch we think understanding the psychology and facts behind gambling is imperative the future of this market. This site was created to be a reliable place to find scholarly articles and legitimate studies on the topic of gambling. Colloquia.ch is also a space where discussion about these articles is encouraged. With the adage of the internet, gambling has become more accessible and prevalent than ever,
One of the biggest controversies surrounding gambling, and in particular online gambling, is how it impacts or society. Is gambling and its ease of access a positive thing or a negative thing? According to the research done by Dr. Gerda Reith from the University of Glasgow, many studies have been done to answer this very question, but results have been varied. Often times these studies produce “contradictory and inconclusive results” which only adds to the controversy of gambling’s societal impact. It seems that many people from both sides have tried to answer this question, but few have done so successfully. Dr. Reith also goes on to state that both sides tend to exaggerate their points on whether gambling is good or bad.
Several studies have been done to determine the prevalence of problem gambling. Problem gambling as defined by Dr. Reith’s research is “behaviour that is out of control and that disrupts personal, family, financial and employment relations”. Her research found that 0.6%-0.8% of the British population would be considered problem gamblers. The research also found that the amount of problem gamblers has actually remained the same, and in some cases even declined, despite the growing popularity of land casinos and online casinos. The whole of her research can be found at this link: http://www.gla.ac.uk/media/media_34552_en.pdf
Another article discussing the research of online gambling and the prevalence of problem gambling can be found here: http://www.ncrg.org/sites/default/files/uploads/docs/white_papers/ncrg_wp_internetgambling_final.pdf
This article comes to similar conclusions as Dr. Reith. After monitoring players’ activities on the website bwin, data showed that roughly 5% of players placed bets that would be considered outside the realm of “normal”. Normal players purchased $16 dollars’ worth of bets at two poker games per week. They also found that when players lost more money, they typically began to bet less and less. The same was found for sports betting. The bwin research found that the majority of bettors bought $5.25 in bets every fourth day. Both of these articles suggest that perhaps problem gambling is not as common as many policy makers and opponents of gambling lead the public to believe.
Another study using information from bwin found similar results as the aforementioned studies. The European Journal of Public Health conducted a study that spanned two years. During this study they found that players of online casino games such as those offered by a variety of sites such as www.casinosenligne.be, spent a moderate amount of money, with only 5% of players falling into the category of “involved bettors”. A player typically played once every two weeks. Their research also found that sports betting is a more popular choice than casinos style games. This study, like the studies listed above, found that the existence of problem gamblers is not as dominant as we are sometimes led to believe. If you’d like to read the entirety of this research click the following link: https://academic.oup.com/eurpub/article/18/4/410/477060/Inside-the-virtual-casino-a-prospective
When talking about research and information in regards to gambling, it’s important to understand that not all studies are created equal. According to The Goldsmith’s Report, some studies done on gambling are not always entirely correct. With gambling being such a controversial topic, the report claims that many people request research that will only help to push their own agendas.
The Goldsmith’s Report, which can be found at https://www.gold.ac.uk/media/documents-by-section/departments/anthropology/Fair-Game-Web-Final.pdf, also goes on to state that too much research emphasis is placed on problem gambling. Studies about problem gambling are the most funded and most well-known, which makes it difficult for more in-depth research to be done. With all of the focus placed on the statistics of problem gambling, what this report deems a “conservative” topic, other aspects of the morality and impact of gambling is not investigated. Many of the studies mentioned throughout Colloquia.ch claim that gambling research is still in its “infancy”, so it’s paramount that the research that’s being done now leads to productive discussions about the current state and future of gambling.
In order to have these important discussions, it’s crucial that we take the initiative and educate ourselves. In addition to being up-to-date on the latest research it’s important to take a look at other facets of gambling. Understanding why casinos and online gambling are structured the way they are is critical when analyzing the topic of gambling. In “Why Are Gambling Markets Organized So Differently Than Financial Markets?” author Steven D. Levitt explores why two seemingly similar markets are structured very differently. He makes the following connections: “First, in both settings, investors with heterogeneous beliefs and information seek to profit through trading as uncertainty is resolved over time. Second, sports betting, like trading in financial derivatives, is a zero-sum game with one trader on each side of the transaction. Finally, large amounts of money are potentially at stake.”
But, despite their likeness, sports betting does not adhere to a strict price. In the case of financial markets, the price that is fixed by the market is the result of supply and demand. In the case of gambling markets, however, the price is determined by the bookmaker (or more colloquially known as bookie). Levitt’s research found that the bookmaker set the price because they were generally better at predicting game outcomes than the average better. The bookmakers are able to take their talent of game prediction and use it to their advantage. Bookmakers are able to gain more of a profit by predicting a number, as opposed to sticking with a set number in the same way as financial markets.
Not only is there a wealth of interesting information regarding the quirks of sports betting, but there’s also many articles in regards to the reasoning behind the layouts of casinos. One study delves into our emotional responses to certain layouts and décor of land based casinos. “The Physical and Psychological Measurement of Gambling Environments” places two different approaches to casinos design against each other. The first template was known as the “playground” model. It’s focus was on pleasure and fun. The second template’s approach was much more utilitarian. The central focus was on the casino machines themselves. After studying the reactions of 22 patrons, they found that players responded much better to the first option. People enjoy being in an environment that relieves them of stress and puts entertainment in the forefront of their minds. These findings are important because it shows that gambling is more than just the wagering/ spending of money. For many people, gambling is a chance to blow of some steam and have a good time.
In that same vein, as a player it’s crucial to understand when design tactics could potentially be used against you. In an article by the BBC entitled “The Psychology of Super-Casinos,” they delve into the many tricks casinos can use to lure you into their establishments. One such trick is not having clocks or windows in the casinos. This way, players are unaware of how much time they’ve spent gambling. Another tricky tactic used is to serve free alcoholic drinks and simple snacks. After consuming a few drinks it may be harder to leave the poker table —even if you’re losing. There’s also been reports that some casinos in American have extra oxygen pumping through their air conditioning units. The extra oxygen helps keep players more alert, so they can play for longer.
According to a proposed UK Gambling Act, casinos in the UK will not be able to pull all the stunts that American casinos pull. One portion of the act states that players must be aware of how much time and money they’ve spent in the casino. Free alcohol is another thing that the UK Gambling Act will try to regulate. However, the article states that energy drinks will most likely populate the menu, which will keep players alert. Lastly, the use of extra oxygen or pheromones will be strictly forbidden in UK casinos. Regulating casino methods could potentially be an important step in cutting down on gambling addiction.
Being well-informed on the world of gambling takes more than just reading a few articles and understanding a few games— you need to be well versed with the legal side as well. The Gaming Law Review is a scholarly journal that focuses “presents the latest developments in legislation, regulation, and judicial decisions affecting gaming around the world.” In the latest issue, they discuss legislation from the UK, the United States, and Czechoslovakia. They delve into deeper issues as well, including digital currency on the Isle of Man, gambling court cases, and America’s Wire Act. They also offer helpful resources if you’re interested in additional reading. In our tech-driven world, rules and regulations need to change to keep up with the times. As a gambling enthusiast, it’s up to you to educate yourself on the state of gambling in not only in your home, but on a global scale as well.
The gambling market has undergone a bit of a transformation over the past decade. The internet has taken gambling to a whole new level. Players no longer have to drive to a casino, use vacation days, or plan a trip —they can access gambling games right from their couch. The ease of access is a wonderful benefit of our 21st century world, but could our ability to gamble anytime, anywhere lead to bigger problems? That’s a question researchers, politicians, policy makers, and operators have been asking themselves since online gambling took off in the early 2000s, and so far, no one has been able to come to a conclusive answer.
Despite the controversy, gambling, and specifically online gambling, doesn’t seem to be going anywhere anytime soon. If anything, online gambling seems to be growing in popularity with each passing year. Because of this, governments now must find ways to integrate online gambling into their societies. This is done by passing laws and regulations. It seems like new regulations for gambling are created every day, which makes it difficult to keep up with. That’s why we’ve created Colloquia.ch. The web is riddled with articles from questionable sources, and gambling information is often times biased based on who’s writing it. We wanted to create a site where in-depth, academic work could be viewed and discussed. The moral, social, and financial implications of gambling could be huge going forward. The market for gambling has never been more saturated than it is right now, which is why it’s paramount for players and operators alike to be up-to-date and well-informed.
Through research and conversation, we can begin to develop solutions to potential problems raised by gambling, and we can also have a thorough understanding of gambling on a personal, social level. Please, take the time to look around our site and read some articles. We’ve provided you with some of the best research that’s available today coupled with great articles that delve deeply into the particulars of the gambling world.