Online Gamling is one of the most popular online activities, with more than seven hundred sites now providing bettors with the opportunity to wager on everything from casino games to sports events. However, like other online activities it comes with some specific risks, ranging from fraudulent operations to a lack of effective screens to prevent participation by the young and vulnerable. Those who wish to play the games on offer should stick to sites that are licensed and regulated in their jurisdiction, this will ensure that their Random Number Generators are regularly tested by independent agencies for fair results and that they uphold strict responsible gambling and player protection measures.
The development of online gambling has posed new challenges to government policy and legislation, particularly because the activity appears to represent an end-run around existing law. However, the current legal situation is complicated because of the nature of the activities involved and the difficulty in distinguishing between gambling activity and other forms of Internet use. The United States has passed laws to prohibit the sale of betting tickets over the Internet and has attempted to block payments made by credit card to online gambling services.
A new generation of gamblers is growing up with the Internet as a dominant form of access to gambling opportunities and the ability to place large wagers has led to concerns that it may contribute to gambling problems. Studies have shown, however, that gamblers who experience problem gambling do not always attribute their difficulties to the Internet mode of gambling. Longitudinal research is required to understand how gambling behaviour is integrated with Internet gambling and other modes of access.
While many people enjoy playing the games at online casinos and other gaming websites, there are also those who get addicted to these types of activities. The problem is that addiction to online gambling can have serious financial and personal consequences for the person who becomes addicted. It is important to seek help for someone with a gambling addiction as soon as possible.
If you suspect that someone you know is gambling online too much, talk to them in a non-judgemental way and offer to help them find support. You should also remember that gambling is a treatable condition, so it is possible for those with an addiction to overcome it with the right treatment and support.