Internet gambling is the use of the internet to place wagers on sporting events, casino games, poker, or other types of wagers. Online gambling has become increasingly popular due to its convenience, speed, and a wide variety of betting products.
The increased availability of online gambling has altered the nature of gambling. As a result, many state officials have expressed concern about allowing the internet to be used to bring illegal gambling into their jurisdiction. However, a growing number of jurisdictions are adopting legalization laws for this type of gambling.
Recent studies have found that people who use the internet to gamble are more likely to be problem gamblers. However, the research has not yet determined whether this is because of the nature of the problem or because of the characteristics of the gambling population.
Most studies have been cross-sectional. Researchers have also studied self-reports of gambling problems. These results suggest that Internet gambling may be a significant predictor of gambling problems, but the accuracy of self-reports is a critical factor. In addition, some Internet problem gamblers may already have existing gambling issues.
More recent research has examined the relationship between problem Internet gamblers and other risk factors. Researchers have found that Internet gamblers are more likely to engage in other problematic behaviors such as alcohol and drug consumption, suicide, and self-harm. Additionally, most Internet problem gamblers reported having had problems before they began gambling. Among these problem Internet gamblers, a significant proportion blamed land-based forms of gambling.