How Online Gambling May Contribute to Gambling-Related Problems

The rise in popularity of online gambling was greeted with concerns that gambling addiction was a growing social problem. Earlier, it appeared that online gambling was an end-run around government regulations, with operators able to establish themselves in offshore jurisdictions. With only a web browser and a credit card, anyone could find an online casino and place a bet. As online gambling became more popular, the Department of Justice and Congress investigated ways to regulate the industry.

The use of the Internet for gambling has transformed the gambling environment, and its accessibility and easy access may have contributed to increased rates of disordered gambling. Research is needed to better understand the extent to which online gambling contributes to gambling-related problems, and the optimal approaches to address these problems. The Internet provides a potentially robust environment for responsible gambling, thanks to its wide range of resources, player-focused tools and resources for controlling spending and time-outs. Online gambling operators are also increasingly enacting strategies to help their customers avoid problems with addiction and gambling, such as targeting notifications based on patterns of play and tailoring contacts based on the analyses of player accounts.

To deposit money into an online gambling account, players can choose from a variety of payment methods. The most popular methods are credit and debit cards. They will ask for card details and the amount to deposit, and then the online gambling site will transfer the money into your account. Unlike land-based casinos, mobile-friendly gambling operators offer a wide range of games and customer support, making it convenient for anyone to place a bet wherever they happen to be.

New Jersey is the largest market for regulated online gambling in the US, with over a dozen sportsbooks and legal online casinos. The state’s online gambling market generates $225 million annually, with a large number of sportsbooks. The next state to legalize online gambling is New York, which will legalize retail sports betting and online sports betting on January 8, 2022. Gov. Andrew Cuomo has included online sports betting in his state budget, but lawmakers must still develop regulations.

Internet gamblers are more likely to have gambling problems, but not everyone who engages in online gambling is at risk. LaPlante and colleagues analyzed data from the 2007 British Gambling Prevalence Study to determine whether the amount of Internet gambling a person performs is related to the likelihood of developing a gambling problem. This research suggests that problem gambling is not a result of the level of online gambling. But the authors did not rule out the possibility that Internet gambling could be a factor in problem gambling.

The association between online gambling and mental health is unknown, but research suggests that some Internet problem gamblers attribute their problems to it. While over half of Internet problem gamblers attribute their problems to online gambling, the researchers do not rule out that some of these individuals may already have other mental health issues. Furthermore, because of the heterogeneity of this population, online gambling may lead to the increased risk of problem gambling for many people. And it is important to consider that internet gambling may increase the risk of gambling addiction and depression in a future generation.