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Virtual Reality Casinos Cure Gambling Addiction, Canadian Researchers Say

Virtual Reality (VR) games have been touted as the “technology of the future” that is to revolutionize the Internet gaming industry. In fact, VR games are the latest technological breakthrough that gives realistic casino experience to the players, while enjoying the comfort of their homes. VR was firstly introduced in video games. Eventually, the gambling industry has found ways to take advantage of the VR technology and take a giant leap forward.

VR technology was embraced by the gambling industry, but many were, and still are, concerned that the new technological advancement also poses a higher risk for developing pathological gambling. Needless to say, gambling-related problems are currently getting a lot of public attention as many people have found themselves trapped by excessive gambling. Governments invest millions in various campaigns fighting gambling problems.

Some time ago, Casino Reports found out that British Columbia considers launching VR games. But while some people are concerned that the innovative VR technology could intensify gambling-related issues among players, others have already found a way to benefit from the new technological advancement and use it to help people tackle gambling addiction. Since last year, Psychologist Stephane Bouchard, Canada Research Chair in Clinical Cyberpsychology, is trying to develop a special program to struggle with gambling addiction.

Virtual Reality Casinos Can Fight Gambling Problems

What is unique about Bouchard’s program is that it implements the controversial VR technology, using it against the player’s uncontrollable urge to keep gambling. The scientist has been studying VR for years. The treatment uses cognitive behavior therapy (CBT). In fact, the treatment recreates the sights, sounds and the action of gambling in virtual reality environments that unlock certain cravings.

By provoking these cravings, Bouchard can access the primary instincts that come when someone is close to the activity they are addicted. The research also found out that these cravings do not lead to loss of control, but are even clinically useful. The therapist explained that the VR-induced cravings helped him to work with people while their thoughts are being controlled by emotion.

He further explained that the VR technology can recreate similar environment as in an actual casino. That is the key to unlock these emotions that trigger the gambling compulsions. Dr. Bouchard added that the slot machines are among the most popular gambling activity and also the most dangerous. The slot machines leave the players with the feeling that they were “so close” to the life-changing prize.

The New Horizons in Responsible Gambling Conference is to take place on 14th February in Vancouver. The event is hosted by the British Columbia Lottery Corporation (BCLC) and Dr. Stephane Bouchard will be among the speakers. According to reliable sources, BCLC invests nearly $9.5 million a year in responsible gambling programs. It was reported that about 125,000 people are considered at risk for developing gambling problems, which is a bit lower in comparison the number of vulnerable people 10 years ago.