N.J. Internet Gambling Addiction Is Subject of Rutgers Study

By Paul Gaita 10/30/14

Concerned about the impact of internet gambling, Rutgers will examine who, how, and why people become addicted.0

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Since becoming legal in November 2013, internet gambling in the state of New Jersey has generated a considerable amount of discussion and a windfall of more than $102 million in increased tax revenues—a significant amount, though also noticeably less than the $200 million predicted by the New Jersey Department of the Treasury and Gov. Chris Christie.

Now, a new study by Rutgers University will attempt to measure the impact of Internet gambling on addictive behaviors. The three-year, $1.2 million study, funded by the state Division of Gaming Enforcement and health department, will allow researchers from the Center for Gambling Studies at Rutgers’ School of Social Work to “identify what type of person chooses this very private form of gambling, who develops problems, and how those problems are different from other forms of gambling,” said Lia Nower, professor and director of the Center.

The survey will initially interview 1,500 adult New Jersey residents by phone, and an additional 2,000 residents via the Internet about their gambling behavior and Internet gambling. The Center will then provide four yearly reports to Governor Christie based on statistical analysis of betting behaviors.

Internet gambling in New Jersey was launched as a means of aiding the state’s faltering casino industry, which has been in decline since 2006. Four casinos in Atlantic City, including the Trump Plaza, have closed this year. Internet gambling is also legal in Delaware and New Jersey, though neither state has launched any studies to determine the impact of the decision, positive or otherwise, of increased access to betting on its constitutes.

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Paul Gaita lives in Los Angeles. He has contributed to the Los Angeles Times, Variety, LA Weekly, Amazon.com and The Los Angeles Beat, among many other publications and websites.