Online gambling has become one of the fastest growing industries in the world, with many millions of people gambling on various platforms every day. Internet gamblers may report that they have access to larger wagers than at land casinos, and can play continuously without the need for breaks. However, online gambling is also linked to gambling disorders. Research suggests that problem gamblers are more likely to engage with Internet gambling modes than non-problem gamblers. And, while some problem gamblers are able to limit their involvement in internet gaming, others may be highly involved in the activity.
The nature of internet gambling, including the constant availability, makes it a unique environment for problem gamblers. As the industry evolves, the regulatory environment must also change to accommodate this growth. In addition, treatment and prevention strategies need to be reviewed for Internet gamblers.
In addition to the risks associated with continuous gambling, Internet gambling poses other unique challenges, including the use of electronic payment. While traditional casino players are limited to a physical location and a physical device, Internet gamblers can use a laptop, tablet, or smartphone. Most gambling sites are compatible with these devices, but some do not.
Because of the commercial nature of the gambling industry, a number of questions have been raised about its power under the Commerce Clause. This has led to a debate about whether federal law could preempt individual state legislation. Fortunately, federal law does not prevent individual states from passing their own gambling laws. Moreover, state law has the ability to impose penalties on individuals who violate state law.
There is little doubt that the federal government has a role to play in regulating Internet gambling. Federal laws reinforce state laws and provide a stronger basis for legal action. But the problem remains that some states are still considering legalizing the activity. For example, Nevada is currently the only state where online gambling is legally permitted. Several other states have introduced bills to legalize the activity. Some states are concerned that the internet can easily transport illegal gambling into their jurisdictions.
To better understand the impact of Internet gambling, research must explore the risk factors for gamblers. For example, researchers have found that many Internet gamblers with gambling problems do not engage in high-risk behaviors, such as betting large amounts of money on sports. They may engage in risky behaviours, such as over-the-top wagering, impulsivity, and excessive gambling.
While there is a growing body of research on the subject, most studies have been limited to cross-sectional or single-subject analyses. These are not adequate to understand the complexities of the internet’s effects on problem gambling. It is necessary to conduct research that includes a variety of player accounts and data.
One research initiative has been conducted by LaPlante DA, based on an online database of gamblers from a European online operator. He has written several papers based on this data, showing that there is a relationship between overall involvement and gambling problems. Other research has been conducted by Int Gambl Stud, which looked at a sample of at-risk online gamblers.