Mack Costello, a professor in psychology at Rider University, has begun studying the effects of problem gambling at a university lab. Castello runs the Gambling Research Lab at Rider and looks into how problem gambling evolves and takes ahold of people.
“Not a full simulation, just some slots and table games — get the set up to take some of the lab-based behavioral research and look at it in a little more valid setting, and then try and compare that to an actual casino,” Castello said.
Castello himself enjoys gambling now and then and creates a full-fledged casino at Rider to see how to treat problem gambling and what signs to look for in the early stages.
All About Research
This is the closest thing Castello and his team have created to a real-life casino floor. He and his team are doing short-term clinical based trials to study the effects and see what therapies will work best.
The lab allows Castello to put people in a controlled environment while he and his team monitor things like a person’s heart rate after winning a long winning streak.
Castello wants to create a goal-setting app that will help problem gamblers overcome the addiction and create goal setting strategies to help the problem before it gets way out of hand. He hopes the research they are doing in the lab will get him to this goal.
Sportsbooks and Problem Gambling
Sportsbooks have been known to limit customers to have been known to win a lot of money off them over the years. Sports betting is becoming more mainstream, and in multiple states, this is happening now more than ever.
Sportsbooks are using technology to track bettors that are consistently winning over time and limiting the number of bets or amount of money they can bet at a time.
At the end of the day, there are now laws against this, and sports betting for the books is a business and is trying to make as much money as possible. Sometimes, that means limiting the people that are making the most money off of you.
However, with sportsbooks using this technology to find consistent winners, it should also use the technology to find problem gamblers.
Sports betting addiction is just as real as any other addiction, and it can ruin lives if they cannot keep themselves under control. If a sportsbook is going to limit winners, shouldn’t it also limit addicted gamblers as well? Many sportsbooks promote problem gambling, but isn’t the next step to limit the problem gambling instead of allowing sportsbooks to profit off these people?
Of course, there is no concrete answer or plan to stop this, but the conversation should begin with how sportsbooks can limit problem gambling. The technology is there to do it. It’s just whether these companies feel like they have a moral obligation to do something.
If it’s ok to limit the winners at sportsbooks, at least do something for the ones who are losing money at an alarming rate. It could save someone from completely hitting rock bottom.