In the 1990s, online gambling began to be popular as a way around government control. Operators could set up shop in an offshore jurisdiction and anyone with a web browser could place wagers. Eventually, the Department of Justice and Congress investigated the possibility of regulating the industry. But to date, online gambling has not been banned, nor is it subject to any federal regulation.
Impact of Internet gambling on gambling problems
There are some limitations to the current literature on the impact of Internet gambling on gambling problems. Methodology varies widely, making it difficult to isolate the important factors that influence the development of problems. Some studies measure Internet gambling only as a discrete gambling activity, while others assess its contribution to gambling problems as a whole. Others have not accounted for the effect of specific Internet gambling activities, such as keno, instant-win scratch tickets, and online poker. These limitations are likely due to collinearity between different forms of Internet gambling.
In addition, the study found that problem gambling rates among Internet users are lower than those of their non-Internet peers, and that non-Internet gamblers are more likely to engage in problem gambling than Internet users. Non-Internet gamblers also reported greater negative health effects, including a higher rate of seeking help for problem gambling. The results suggest that internet gamblers experience different risks than non-gamblers, and these differences might impact prevention and treatment programs.
Personal or behavioural risk factors
Personal or behavioural risk factors when gambling online are factors that increase the likelihood of a person developing an addiction to gambling. These risk factors include gender, age, and the use of illicit drugs while gambling. In addition, people who use the internet at home are at an increased risk of developing problems with gambling.
Using gambling data from different forms of online gambling, researchers can identify risk factors and determine if a person is likely to develop a gambling problem. These risk factors differ for different types of gambling, such as EGMs, sports betting, or race betting. These differences in risk highlight the importance of developing intervention strategies that are specific to each type of online gambling.
To determine the most effective gambling interventions, we must understand the behavioural and demographic risk factors associated with problem gambling. Most studies have not looked at problem gambling specifically among people who use the Internet. They have included both online and offline problem gamblers, thereby making it impossible to distinguish which types of online gambling are more problematic. By understanding these risk factors, we can better tailor interventions to target high-risk gamblers.
Legality of Internet gambling
While it’s not clear whether Internet gambling is legal or not, it’s certainly an issue of social concern. Many Americans don’t pay much attention to anti-gambling laws, but statistics suggest that Americans illegally wager more than $100 billion per year. Even if gambling were illegal, prosecuting operators would be difficult. The government wouldn’t be able to track down solicitations in the mail and operators could use easily changeable post office boxes to hide behind. The government would also run the risk of increasing societal resentment over the increased scrutiny.
According to Ipsos Reid polls, the majority of Americans and Canadians believe that Internet gambling is legal. This was a joint survey between the US lottery and Canada, and showed that a majority of people in both countries believe that Internet gambling is legal.