Possible Spread of US Online Gambling to Smartwatch Apps Poses Risks

There’s a trend that seeps into online gambling and sports betting It’s reminiscent of an old adage: just because you can doesn’t mean you have to.

When it comes to exploring the possibility of placing sports bets via smartwatch appsthe American online gambling industry has to ask itself if it is overstepping the bounds and if such a thing is really necessary.

Of course, the trend is still more in the exploratory phase, but companies operating in the field of gambling have long flirted with the idea of ​​taking sports bets via smartwatch applications. It is not clear if there are currently plans to develop this premise, but regardless, there could be unintended consequences such as a increase in problem gambling. People are already addicted to their devices without adding a game element.

Online gaming’s previous forays into the US on smartwatches

So far, activity in the direction of gaming apps for devices like the apple watch was exploratory for companies operating in the United States. Unibetwhich offers online casinos and/or sports betting products in several US states, has launched its own Apple Watch app.

However, it’s not exactly a gaming app. It’s merely informational, allowing users to learn about horse racing and sports results.

playtechwhich offers live dealer games and other types of gaming content to US online casino operators, has developed an Apple Watch platform that could allow its partners to take bets via smartwatches.

In 2014, Microgaming has demonstrated its capability of smartwatch gaming applications at the Mobile World Congress.

American online sports betting operators have not yet really adopted this technology introduced by MicroGaming and Playtech. That could change at any time, however. Game companies in the United States have flirted with similar technologies.

Other online game integrations in new apps

Earlier this year, single bet announced a partnership with DraftKings. The program in question is a new capability for the Connected travel application in vehicles. It allows DraftKings account holders to use their cars voice command features for betting on sporting events through DraftKings.

Fubo TV has integrated the possibility of initiating bets via its streaming television service while watching live sports. Again, however, betting actually takes place via a connected smartphone app. Bettors should not only have active accounts with Fubo, but use the service in either Arizona or Iowa, as those are the only two states. Fubo Sportsbook has a license in.

Philosophers have pondered the neutrality of technology, arguing that it is simply a tool with no inherent moral value. The use of this technology, not the technology itself, could give off or lack moral quality, according to the thought. There has been an investigation into this premise with respect to gambling.

Studies on addiction to casinos and virtual reality devices

In February 2017, Frontiers in Psychiatry used one virtual reality casino environmentt examine whether virtual reality could be used as a cognitive-behavioral therapy to treat people with problem gambling.

Among their findings, a virtual reality gaming experience produced responses in participants similar to those they displayed in a real physical casino. Anticipation and delivery of game outcomes, whether physical or virtual, was what participants were looking for.

There is, however, another type of “addiction” worth discussing here. In January 2022, Slicktext shared the results of a survey on the use of smartphones. Among the results, 22% of smartphone users “admitted to checking their device every few minutes.”

Whereas Wonlex argues that smartwatches can actually relievee “smartphone addiction” by reducing app functionality, among other things, this potential benefit diminishes if smartwatch apps become more functional, which gaming apps would accomplish. It’s a demonstration of how, for people with problem gambling, smartwatch gaming apps could be more of a responsibility than their smartphones.

Smartwatch gaming has many risks

Whenever there is a discussion about responsible gambling, the discussion must include the personal responsibility of each player. Each person is responsible for his own conduct when it comes to gambling.

However, gaming companies also share responsibility. They need to carefully consider whether allowing customers to put a casino on their smartwatches is the responsible choice. There are a few hardware differences between smartphone and smartwatch platforms that could make smartwatch gaming apps more problematic.

As Skywood Recovery points out, people struggling with gambling often “hide their problems.” It might be easier to hide this behavior on a smartwatch than on a smartphone. In addition, smartwatches greater accessibility of applications could act as a stronger trigger.

For example, someone with a gambling problem may not be able to pull out a smart phone during a business meeting or family event, but a few quick taps on their smart watch may be less social. . faux pas in these situations.

Also, while a person can silence their phone and ignore push notifications, the purpose of a smartwatch is communication. Again, this could mean more frequent and powerful triggers.

It’s easy to argue that those who struggle with problem gambling simply can’t use technology in this way, but that argument ignores the real problem behind problem gambling. Those struggling with gambling addiction are unable to make such choices on their own.

It is not the job of gambling companies to protect problem gamblers from all possible triggers. However, they don’t have to go out of their way to make the game as easy as possible.