Online Gambling is the use of a computer or other electronic device to place wagers. Various online gambling websites offer players the opportunity to place wagers using their credit cards, mobile devices and bank accounts. These sites also offer free play and other incentives to attract new gamblers. The prevalence of online gambling has raised concerns that it can contribute to gambling problems.
It is possible to develop an addiction to online gambling, just as it is with other addictive substances. It is important to recognize the signs of addiction, and seek help if necessary. It is also important to realize that online gambling is not a substitute for therapy, and can actually increase anxiety and depression in those who are addicted to it.
Some researchers have proposed that a ‘dose-response’ model exists for internet gambling, with a higher risk of harm for those who gamble more often and for longer periods. Others have highlighted that a combination of individual, environmental and socioeconomic predictors drives the transition to problematic gambling. Young men, in particular, appear disproportionally affected by the phenomenon.
Another concern about online gambling is that it can be more difficult to control gambling expenditures, especially when it is conducted on a computer rather than in a casino where the gambler can see their bankroll and can easily walk away from the table or slot machine. Furthermore, it can be easy to hide online gambling activities from friends and family members.