Is Online Betting Less Addictive Than Casino Gambling?

Cameron Tung believes that former is less psychologically involving than the latter:

In 2006, researchers at the University of Guelph published a paper in which they concluded that a specific type of casino design was best for stoking people’s desire to gamble.The study’s authors collected the emotional and psychological responses of subjects to the “playground” model of casinos – distinguished by warm colors, “the presence of accessible green space and moving water” – and the Friedman-design model, in which the “gambling equipment should be the dominant decorative feature in a casino, and décor should be used only to highlight and enhance the equipment layout.”

The researchers determined that the playground model elicited higher responses of pleasure as well as mental restoration, a quality they found to be linked to a person’s willingness to gamble. Appearing to validate these conclusions are the financial reports of the Roger Thomas-designed Bellagio and Wynn hotel-casinos in Las Vegas, which contain extreme archetypes of the playground-style gaming floor and have trounced many of their Friedman-style competitors. One of the authors of the University of Guelph study, Karen Finlay, told the New Yorker that “gamblers in a playground casino will stay longer, feel better, and bet more. Although they come away with bigger losses, they’re more likely to return.”

In other words, it’s possible that many gamblers are not actually seeking the most convenient or efficient place to win money, but the most comfortable space in which to lose it.