Despite scientific research to the contrary, a family therapist from California publicly claims, without solid evidence, that more gambling availability causes more problem gambling.
In a recent press release, California therapist Michael Halyard has said that he believes “gambling is ubiquitous” while also claiming that ever more opportunities for gambling means there will be more compulsive gamblers. This is despite also acknowledging that many modern studies have proved that pathological gambling is directly linked with chemical imbalances occurring in the human brain.
It has been shown that the brains of compulsive gamblers tend to contain higher levels of the hormone dopamine or similarly lower levels of the hormone norepinphrine than the statistically average person who is not prone to compulsive gambling. Yet even though he acknowledged this Mummy’s Gold Casino review, Halyard still managed to conclude that the ever increasing availability and ease of access of gambling in its many forms will create more new pathological gamblers. He omitted to mention that this additional exposure to gambling may or may not cause any changes in the levels of these hormones in average people’s brains.
Halyard states that science now shows us that the decision making part of the brains of addicts is broken which explains why they continue with their addictive behaviour despite the continually increasing negative consequences. This is consistent with internationally recognised surveys that depict the percentages of victims of problem gambling tends to remain constant all over the world, whether gambling laws are tight or relaxed.
The problem Halyard has run into with his statements are that he is not in possession of any statistical evidence to back them up, instead relying on stories related by counsellors concerning the rise of problem gambling.
While anecdotal evidence discussed by professional practitioners may provide a potentially useful guide to trends in problem gambling, it is generally considered to be close to useless for ascertaining and determining scientific fact. Evidence obtained from word-of-mouth discussions and recollections can be subject to error, exaggeration and other distorting factors that circumvent true scientific study.
Harvard Medical School’s Dr. Howard Shaffer conducted a years-long study which went on to prove how slight the actual danger if of problem gambling by people at online casinos. In fact, based on anecdotal evidence alone, the cause of increased requests for professional help could be that the very help programs asked for are more readily accessible, rather than there being more individual problems.