Every year, billions of dollars are spent on the online gambling industry. Adults and children alike can easily find gambling sites offering everything from poker to blackjack to sports bets and more. What is the source of your concern?
- Too easy to get: you can gamble 24 hours a day.
- Too solitary: you can gamble in your own home undetected and unnoticed.
- There is a greater chance that children will discover and use these websites.
- Computers’ absorbing nature can cause people to lose track of time while gambling.
- Online gambling allows for a faster play rate; for example, casino card games have an average rate of play of around thirty hands per hour, whereas online poker can average sixty to eighty hands per hour.
- People who came to gambling treatment after gambling on the Internet had more severe problems.
- Cash’s perceived value has decreased (i.e., players are forgetting that they are spending real money)
- A gambling site on the other side of the world may or may not be legitimate; there may be little to prevent an online gambling service provider from taking one’s money and shutting down or failing to pay winnings.
- Credit card or account information may be captured, and computer hackers may steal funds.
- Internet gambling may be vulnerable to privacy invasions. Information provided to casino operators can be used for other purposes; for example, a service that uses telemarketing to persuade people to bet on its soccer betting system might be willing to pay money for a list of Internet sportsbook players.
Online activity, which appears addictive in and of itself to a minority of users, may interact synergistically with the proclivity for problem gambling, increasing the number of online people with gambling problems.
It’s extremely addictive.
- There are no restrictions on availability. It couldn’t be more accessible than at home, in your pyjamas…
- There is no time constraint. People who play at home can play for hours on end, at any time of day or night.
- There are few financial constraints. A lot of money can be won with credit–and lost–before coming to a halt.
Keep this in mind before engaging in online gambling.
- You may lose your money. Online gambling companies exist to make a profit. They make more money than they spend.
- A good credit rating can be ruined. In most cases, online gambling necessitates the use of a credit card. If children incur debt online, it is possible that their credit rating – or that of their parents – will suffer.
- Online gambling has the potential to be addictive. Because Internet gambling is a solitary activity, people can gamble for hours on end without being noticed. Gambling in social isolation and gambling with credit may be risk factors for developing gambling problems.
- Gambling is not permitted for minors. Minors are not permitted to gamble in any state. That is why gambling sites do not pay out to minors and go to great lengths to verify the winner’s identity.
The Laws of the United States and Online Gambling
It is currently illegal to operate a gambling website in the United States. That’s why you’ll come across sites that “teach” you how to play for free…but then offer a separate site that looks suspiciously similar where you can play for real money.
In 2006, the United States Congress passed legislation prohibiting the use of credit cards for online gambling. However, some people in the United States continue to use online gambling sites.
Suggestions for Safer Online Gambling
- Spend only what you can afford to lose.
- Keep track of how much time you spend playing—set a time limit and stick to it.
- Keep track of your spending while playing, and keep in mind that the numbers on the screen are real money.
- Try not to chase your losses.
- If you are a parent who gambles online, keep your password secure and consider using software to prevent minors from accessing gambling sites.
- Look for sites that allow you to set your spend and session limits.