Online Gamling is a form of gambling that takes place through internet-enabled devices such as computers, smartphones and tablets. Online casinos, poker sites and sports betting platforms offer gamblers a choice of games to play. These websites are licensed and regulated to ensure that they are fair, the payouts are reliable and that they uphold responsible gambling and player protection measures.
Online gambling has rapidly increased in popularity since its inception in the 1990s. The World Wide Web provides a direct route around government control and prohibition. Site operators can set up operations in friendly offshore jurisdictions and accept wagers via credit card, allowing anyone with a computer to access and gamble.
The ubiquity of online gambling has led to concerns that it could lead to problem behaviours. Several studies have found that Internet gambling may be associated with a range of problematic gambling behaviours. However, the results are cross-sectional and self-report-based, and causality cannot be determined. Nevertheless, some studies have suggested that Internet gambling is a proximal cause of problems and that over half of problem gamblers attribute their gambling problems to online gambling .
In addition to online gambling, the internet has also become an important medium for promoting illegal sports betting. It is estimated that over two million people have used the internet to bet on illegal sports events. While the vast majority of these bettors are harmless, some have become addicted to the thrill of betting on illegal sports matches and have developed a serious problem that requires treatment.