Online Gambling is an activity whereby individuals can play games of chance or skill through the Internet and gain money. These games may take the form of sports wagering, keno, lottery tickets, or casino games such as poker and blackjack. Winnings from such games are added to the player’s account (or “bankroll”), and losses are deducted from it. Players are able to withdraw their bankrolls (with winnings and losses accounted for) from their accounts at any time. Some Internet gambling sites provide additional services such as e-wallet or live dealer gaming.
Currently, online gambling is legal in some countries, such as Nevada, where casinos are allowed to offer virtual versions of their casino floor games. However, many states have their own patchworks of laws that either allow or disallow specific types of Internet gambling. These state-by-state regulations have created a complex web of grey legal areas that can increase the risks of participating in illegal gambling activities.
It is possible that the increased use of Internet gambling by people at higher risk of developing gambling problems will result in more harms associated with this type of gambling. Research is required to develop new strategies for early detection and intervention to reduce gambling-related problems. This will require the development of a variety of different indicators to be able to detect problem gamblers across a range of gambling contexts. Longitudinal data are also needed to understand whether Internet gambling behaviour is distinct from offline gambling and whether game-specific characteristics play a role in the emergence of problems.