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Sitting at the Virtual Poker Table: Results From First Ever Epidemiological Study of Actual Internet Poker Gaming Behavior, in Press

VIENNA, Austria, April 20 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- The results from the first ever epidemiological analysis of the actual gaming behavior evidenced by a large sample of 3,445 online poker players over the span of 2 years are about to be published. The study was conducted by the Division on Addictions, Cambridge Health Alliance, a Harvard Medical School teaching affiliate. This collaboration reflects the longstanding partnership with bwin, the world's leading online gaming provider.

The partnership between bwin and the Division on Addictions was established in 2005 to provide a scientific basis for the assessment of conspicuous gaming behavior and its consequences for responsible gaming. Two key findings beginning to emerge from the research initiative are:

1) The myth of online gaming as a powerful seductive force has been empirically refuted. Online gaming has no greater problem potential than offline gaming.

2) Responsible gaming measures show effect.

The current research, which analyzes the behavior of Internet poker players over the course of two years, is the world's largest longitudinal and the first ever epidemiological study of its kind.

Individuals exhibit rational behavior

"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. 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." says Howard Shaffer, PH.D., Associate Professor, Harvard Medical School, Director, Division on Addictions, The Cambridge Health Alliance, a teaching affiliate of Harvard Medical School.

    - The average age of the cohort (sample) was 27.9 years and
      almost 95% were male. The typical poker player was an active poker
      player for a median duration of six and a half months and participated
      in a median of one poker session every three days. The median Euros
      per session gambled was EUR13 and the median cost of playing poker
      was EUR1.80 per session.

    - The gaming behaviors of the most involved poker players show that
      this group, representing 5% of all players, was active for a duration
      of 18.5 months and participated in ten sessions per week.

    - This 5% subgroup had a smaller percentage lost than the sample
      majority, suggesting that skill is a factor in poker play and that
      players are able to improve their performance compared with chance.

    - When examining the most involved poker players who devoted more
      time and money to this activity, the study found that like the rest
      of the sample, they reduced Euros per session and reduced Total
      Wagered as Percent Loss increased.

"In our intention to replace speculation with scientific evidence, 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." says Manfred Bodner, Co-CEO of bwin.

For further information about the study please visit

    Kevin O'Neal, Press Officer
    bwin Interactive Entertainment AG
    Borsegasse 11, 1010 Vienna, Austria
    Tel.: +43(0)50-858-24010

    Konrad Sveceny, Investor Relations
    bwin Interactive Entertainment AG
    Borsegasse 11, 1010 Vienna, Austria
    Tel.: +43(0)50 858-20017

SOURCE bwin Interactive Entertainment AG
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