Online Gambling involves placing bets on events, such as horse races and sports games. It is becoming increasingly popular, as it is convenient and offers the opportunity to play from any location. However, it can be dangerous if not managed properly and may lead to gambling addiction. Trusted adults need to understand what it is, what forms it takes and how they can respond if they think a young person might be at risk of developing an unhealthy habit.
The growth of the World Wide Web in the 1990s led to the rapid expansion of online gambling. Site operators set up in friendly offshore jurisdictions and began accepting wagers via credit card. This was a direct challenge to US gambling policies and resulted in several legislative initiatives, including one from Senator Jon Kyl (R-AZ) in 1995.
Most US states have regulated online gambling in some form. Some, such as Utah and Hawaii, ban the activity entirely due to a religious or cultural concern. Others have opted to regulate online gambling within their existing laws.
Some studies have shown that online gambling can increase the likelihood of problem gambling for some individuals. This is likely due to the socialization effect, in which gambling can become a way of bonding with other gamblers and a way of constructing social identities. It also may be related to cognitive distortions, in which individuals overestimate their chances of winning and underestimate the risks involved.