Internet gambling has been a rapidly growing industry. It is facilitated by the rise of high speed internet connections and ownership of mobile devices. These innovations have resulted in an increasing variety of betting options and value for money. However, it has also been linked to problems. In fact, over half of those with internet gambling problems report they had issues before they started using the internet. Some experts suggest that the Internet could increase the risk of problem gambling.
The DSM-5 Taskforce recommends that more research be conducted on the use of the Internet for gambling. Although this may seem counter-intuitive, there is some merit to this. As a result, more jurisdictions have begun to regulate Internet gaming. This can protect consumers, generate taxation revenue, and enhance consumer protection.
A number of studies have been performed on the effects of Internet gambling on gamblers. Although the majority of these studies are cross-sectional, some interesting findings have emerged. These include a study that links gambling problems to participation in online gambling and a study that links problem gambling to a specific type of online gaming site.
For example, a study of Internet casinos found that participants were less likely to be screened for gambling problems when they played on an Internet-based casino than when they played at a land-based casino. Also, a self-reported survey showed that some Internet gamblers were more prone to self-harm than their counterparts. Similarly, a survey of internet gamblers showed that they reported a greater ease of access to money and other items than their land-based gambling counterparts.
A similar study found that those who were more involved in Internet gambling were more likely to drink alcohol. Additionally, a large number of Internet gamblers reported that they used online gambling to win money. Interestingly, a large number of gamblers reported that their most significant benefits from Internet gambling included a streamlined process for wagering and easier access to money. Ultimately, these advantages might be a reason for a larger share of problem gamblers to use the Internet.
Although these studies provide valuable insights into the impact of Internet gambling on problem gamblers, it’s unclear if these findings can be generalized to other types of online gambling. Moreover, while there is evidence that online gambling can contribute to problem gambling, there’s a lack of proof that it can cause it.
Lastly, there are several federal statutes that have been implicated in connection with illegal Internet gambling. One of these is the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act, which imposes restrictions on financial transactions with sites that accept bets from users located outside of the United States. But while the legislation is aimed at combating rogue Internet gambling, it’s been criticized for its lack of teeth. And it has been contested on constitutional grounds.
While there is no hard data to support this, it is likely that Internet gambling will only continue to expand in the future. As more and more jurisdictions legalize it, there is a good chance that it will become a more widespread form of gambling.