Since ancient times, Italy has played a crucial role in gambling, as many games that have come down to us today originated in Ancient Rome. In fact, in those times, citizens loved to bet on gladiators; animal battles, predicting the outcome of dice rolls, etc. Plus, the first time the word “casino” appeared, was in Italy, precisely in 1500. This word means “small house” and about a century later – in 1638 – the very first gambling house was inaugurated in magnificent Venice.
With this in mind, it is not difficult to think that the culture of gambling in Italy is still important. In fact, there are professional Italian gamblers whose fame has crossed national barriers to become a name in the rest of Europe. Let’s talk about Spike.
Spike and the scientific approach to casino gaming
Who is Spike? We don’t know many things about him, but what has made him famous is his ability to bring forward a positive and responsible narration about gambling, about the risks of betting without awareness.
Spike is an Italian guy, YouTuber, and blogger who mainly deals with digital gaming.
His passion for the world of best online slots became a real job. In fact, he uploads videos every day, and thanks to the 80,000 subscribers to his YouTube channel, he gets over 2.3 million views per month. He communicates with his audience via various social media, including Twitch and Instagram, where he likes to do live sessions with his partner Moreno.
The videos on Spike’s channel are light-hearted, but always full of valuable and objective information! For reading enthusiasts, the number one online casino in Canada content creator offers informative articles on his Spikeslot site. The site offers reviews and news about the casino games industry.
But how does Spike deal with the fact that for some people gambling can become a problem?
The concept of gambling and addiction is not something static, but undergoes changes depending on the era and Spike is particularly interested in talking correctly about gambling industry, especially to the younger people.
Pathological gambling and psychology
Indeed, if we look at the last few years, there have been several changes in gaming behavior, both in tastes and age groups. Even in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) of the APA (American Psychiatric Association, 2013), the conceptualization of pathological behavior is different from older editions.
Although casino games are banned for minors in several countries around the world, in the last 10 years, between 60 and 99% of young people (from ages of 12 to 20) have gambled at least once (Splevins et al., 2010).
As Spike states: “Just think that in Italy – my country – a recent survey (2011) revealed that about 3000 young people have gambling problems. Of these people (aged between 13 and 20) 7% were classified as pathological gamblers. And a subsequent survey in 2013, found that about 17% of young people had problems with gambling behavior. Regarding Canada, statistics (KFLAPH, OPUS-ULETH) note that in 2018 about 0.6% of players showed pathological gambling behaviors and that 3/4 of Canadians tried casino games. Canada’s legal data at Pathological Gaming are far below the global average. However, 2.7% of the Canadian population was identified as ‘at risk’. Professional gamblers like me, need to consider this information if they want to work seriously”.
Obviously, the fact that the age at which people start to gamble is lower, is due to the normalization and the flourishing of so many gaming possibilities, especially in the world of the web. But there are other contextual factors that can and should be considered in order to teach younger people a healthy and positive idea of gaming.
“Parents can really have a strong impact on their children’s gambling behaviors. Young people take their family and friends as models, but not only. The reference figures they choose to follow on the web also have a tough impact on their choices, and it is no coincidence that we talk about ‘influencers’. So, we have to pay attention. People like me, who choose to make videos and deal publicly with online gaming, have a big responsibility in this regard”.
Can a positive and responsible model of gambling really be created?
Surely an approach that also considers the social context and emerging issues can be a smart basis to start from. The phenomenon of online casino gaming is something that thousands of people every day can access with just a few clicks.
As global statistics reveal that online gambling is growing steadily, it makes sense to treat it in all its facets. This is where professionals like Spike come in.
In fact, his activity is not only about fun gaming videos, but it also transpires from the numerous contents he publishes on his website Spike Slot where he also deals with all the issues of gaming.
Furthermore, Spike has a special relationship with his audience and through Twitch streaming and YouTube videos in Europe and North America, he not only shows them the beauty of gambling. But he talks about the need to use your head properly and urges people to never think of betting as a way to get rich.
“For many professional gamblers speaking about the “dark side” of casino games might seem counterproductive. But talking to your followers means building an honest and transparent relationship, which would not be possible if you omitted any difficulties and risks. People are not stupid and you have to talk to them intelligently. In fact, it’s a style of communication that has rewarded me, because I feel a lot of affection from my community.”
And thinking about it, we can say that Spike is right. In a world of people who are sometimes not very clear and try to take advantage of others, perhaps it is this approach that makes the difference!
“On the other hand, online casinos are industry and it would be unfair to think that their purpose is to give money away. So, beware of the promises of some online sites that promise big winnings with very little investment! Although sometimes lucky and rewarding conditions can be created that lead to the winning of more or less large cash prizes. For these reasons, gambling should simply be considered a form of entertainment like many others on the web”.
Spike has other interests and hobbies: he loves Harley Davidsons and Italian sports cars. He follows various sports such as Moto GP and Formula 1. In his Instagram profile bio, Spike describes himself as a “scientific gambler” of online casinos and digital slots. And he’s more than 30K followers know just how true that is!
But Spike firmly believes one thing: “We must continue to honor Italy’s ancient gaming tradition and export in Canada market. As professionals, we have to teach the public that only conscious gaming can give the healthiest and most authentic gaming experience”.
So, Spike promotes the idea of fun, conscious gambling and he’s not afraid to talk about addiction.
It’s a good thing to have a professional able to talk in-depth, about the lights and shadows of gambling. This is a fundamental message, especially when talking to younger gamblers.