The term Internet gambling refers to a wide range of wagering activities, including casinos, sports betting, and virtual poker. Its primary benefit is speed and convenience, as gamblers can play and place bets from home, and wager larger amounts than they would be able to in a land-based environment. This is facilitated by advances in technology. High-speed internet connections make it possible for users to place bets on games at lightning speeds.
Several studies have investigated the potential benefits and drawbacks of internet gambling. One study concluded that online gambling is a viable option for gamblers looking for an alternative to the more traditional forms of gaming. Several studies also have found that some Internet gamblers are more prone to developing problems than their peers. Despite this, there is no hard and fast correlation between internet gambling and problem gambling. However, research suggests that Internet gamblers with problems are more likely to report having problems before internet gambling.
While there is no single gambling index that will predict a gambler’s problems, the presence of an interstate element in a gambling transaction may obstruct enforcement policies of state law. Similarly, the commercial nature of a gambling business may satisfy Commerce Clause doubts.
Although there is no direct link between internet gambling and problem gambling, a few studies have found that participants in the former have higher rates of drug use and alcohol consumption than those who engage in the latter. In addition, a significant number of Internet gamblers also attribute their problems to land-based gambling. These findings are interesting, and suggest that some of the newer technologies are enabling more disordered types of gambling.
Most studies have been cross-sectional, and the prevalence of problem gamblers in the general population is surprisingly low. Nonetheless, there is a small amount of longitudinal research that has been performed. Some of these studies have been compared to self-reports of gambling problems. Results have shown that participation in online gambling is on the rise. Yet, there are many important questions still to be answered regarding how to best integrate Internet-gambling behavior into more traditional methods of gambling.
As such, it is difficult to predict whether or not internet gambling will have a negative impact on the broader gambling industry. On the other hand, it is clear that online gambling is the fastest growing mode of gambling, with growth estimated to be over 50% by 2020. A number of jurisdictions are recognizing the benefits of regulation, which can include taxation revenue and consumer protection. But, in the meantime, the legal landscape remains murky. Those who are concerned about the potential risks and potential rewards of Internet gambling should take heed. Until more is known, it is probably best to avoid it entirely.
The internet has become a popular source of information, entertainment, and a variety of other useful services. As a result, a number of online gaming venues have appeared. For instance, Liechtenstein International Lottery became the first official Internet-based gambling venue for the general public, and Tropical Paradise, a Costa Rican casino operation, offers a downloadable online version of its slots and table games.