The Role of the Internet in Problem Gambling
Internet gambling is one of the fastest growing modes of wagering. It includes the use of virtual poker, sports betting, and casinos. The increase in internet connectivity has facilitated the growth of the market. However, there are concerns that online gaming may contribute to problem gambling. This paper provides an overview of recent studies on the subject. It aims to identify important trends and findings in the field.
Online gambling offers a number of benefits over traditional forms of wagering, including ease, convenience, and speed. Moreover, online platforms have also become increasingly used for recreational and entertainment purposes. Despite these advantages, however, some people may become addicted to the activity. Therefore, it is important to address the issues that accompany this trend.
One of the primary concerns is the potential for Internet gambling to introduce illegal gambling into state jurisdictions. In response, several states have enacted laws to regulate it. These laws are designed to protect consumers and increase tax revenue. Yet, these policies are undermined by the fact that the commercial nature of the business often results in the lack of due process protections.
Although federal law reinforces the state law in cases, it has not completely eliminated the possibility of legal challenges. Recent cases have raised constitutional questions regarding the power of Congress to regulate gambling under the Commerce Clause. Specifically, Section 1956 of the U.S. Code creates several different crimes. There are several separate offenses under this statute, including laundering, money laundering, receiving bets, and age verification.
Gambling is a broad term, which includes sports betting, casinos, bookmaking, pool-selling, and lotteries. In some cases, gambling can result in a serious addiction, especially in adults. Several studies have analyzed the relationship between Internet gambling and gambling problems.
However, most studies have not been longitudinal. This may mean that the evidence pertaining to the relationship between gambling and gambling disorders is too small to draw conclusions about the prevalence of Internet gambling and its effect on gamblers. Consequently, it is important to study the effect of the Internet on gambling problems across time.
Research suggests that Internet gambling is associated with increased problem gambling rates. However, not all high-involved gamblers are at risk for this condition. Hence, there is a need for research that will address the role of the Internet in problem gambling and how it might be integrated with offline gambling.
A study by LaPlante and colleagues in 2007 found that the likelihood of Internet gamblers becoming problem gamblers was higher than for non-Internet gamblers. In addition, there was a relationship between problem gambling and the format of a gambling game. For example, race wagering, casino games, and poker were the most commonly blamed forms of Internet gambling. Similarly, some gamblers attributed their gambling problems to other land-based activities, while others reported a higher involvement in Internet gambling than other gambling types.
Finally, some researchers have questioned whether the existence of a single index that could predict gambling problems is enough. This may be because of the subjective nature of self-reporting. Alternatively, the study may have been biased by the sample size or the accuracy of the report.