he study was carried out by the Division On Addictions of the Cambridge Health Alliance, which is a teaching affiliate of Harvard Medical School, and will now become part of The Transparency Project gambling addictions research scheme.
Bwin and Harvard established the Transparency Project in February as the world’s first public data repository for privately funded datasets relating to addictive behaviors and the Vienna-based operator has shared anonymous activity data from its over 40,000 users with scientists so that they can advance the available empirical evidence and knowledge base around addictions.
Bwin revealed that this was the world's largest longitudinal and the first epidemiological study of its kind and sampled 3,445 online poker players over two years. It found that individuals exhibit rational behavior when playing online and do so moderately.
“In this research we provide additional evidence in support of our previous research showing that most subscribers who gamble on the Internet do so moderately,” said Howard Shaffer, Associate Professor at Harvard Medical School and Director for The Cambridge Health Alliance’s Division On Addictions.
“In fact, correlation analyses indicated that as percent lost increased, duration, total gambling sessions and total amount wagered all decreased suggesting that individuals moderated their behavior based on their wins and their losses, exhibiting ‘rational’ betting behavior.”
The study found that the average age of a player was 27.9 years while almost 95 % were male that had been active for six and a half months participating in one session every three days. In addition, the median player gambled an average of 13 euros per session while the mean cost came to 1.80 euros per session.
'In our intention to replace speculation with scientific evidence,” said Manfred Bodner, Co-CEO for Bwin. “This study takes us a big step closer towards understanding the behavior of online poker players. Ultimately, we are interested in developing algorithms capable of identifying behavioral patterns or identifying risk patterns associated with disordered gaming.”