Internet gambling is a form of gaming in which people place wagers on games of chance, sports betting, casino games, and virtual poker. It is facilitated by the availability of a variety of betting products and a high-speed Internet connection.
Unlike land-based gambling, internet gambling is largely automated, with little interaction between players. A number of studies have focused on the relationship between problem gambling and internet gambling. However, it is still unclear whether internet gambling has contributed to the increase in gambling problems.
In the United States, the federal government has taken action against several companies that illegally offer online gambling. These companies include Sporting News, which agreed to pay a $4.2 million fine.
A number of states have expressed concerns that internet could facilitate illegal gambling into their jurisdictions. This may have an impact on state enforcement policies. There have also been some challenges to the enforcement of gambling laws based on constitutional grounds. While some attacks have been successful, other attacks have failed.
Problem gamblers are more likely to use alcohol or illicit drugs and are more likely to self-harm. The prevalence of problem gamblers is higher among internet gamblers than non-Internet gamblers.
Although the presence of a single index that predicts problem gambling does not exist, a longitudinal study that looks at individual participants can provide information on the prevalence of problems. Several surveys have found that the presence of alcohol and drug use increases with the involvement of an Internet gambler.