Are smartphones creating a new generation of gamblers?

Love them or loathe them, mobile phones are now an increasingly important part of modern life, with phoning being only one of their many uses. However, are they now causing a new and serious problem?


In recent years gambling amongst young adults has been vastly increasing, many becoming problem gamblers. A new study suggests that this is caused by gambling through smartphones. The study argues that the increase is fuelled by the simplicity and ease to which many younger people can now access betting. In short, smartphones cause gambling addictions. The theory is simple but strong. It is also, however, wrong.

In times of economic despair (which despite the government line, we are certainly still in) bookies do incredibly well. Take a walk down your average high street and look at the shops. Your restaurants and quality shops may be taking a turn for the worst, but amongst the pound shops and pawnbrokers you will now see many betting shops.

It’s hardly surprising that disillusioned people, with what they see as almost no chance in gaining proper employment, turn to betting in the hope of transforming their lives.

With young people being one of the biggest losers in terms of government cut backs and unemployment (plus the Tories promise of further persecution through the benefit system) many have turned to gambling. In the digital age, however, young people no longer go to the high street to make their bets, but use their smartphones.

This is not to say that smartphones aren’t making the problem worse, but to argue that they are the cause of the problem is a thorough misinterpretation of the times we live in. The cause of the problem is poverty, something far harder to change than technology.


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