Internet Gambling and Problem Gambling
Internet Gambling is the use of computers and the internet for wagering. It is an umbrella term for a range of wagering activities such as sports betting, online poker, virtual poker, roulette, casino games, and other forms of interactive remote gambling.
The growth of Internet gambling has been rapid. In the past 15 years, the use of the Internet for gambling has evolved from a marginal to a major player in the gambling industry. However, there is a growing concern that it may contribute to the proliferation of problems.
To address this issue, LaPlante and colleagues examined the prevalence of problem gambling on the Internet in the United Kingdom. They identified three primary groups of gamblers. These include the problem gamblers, who display higher rates of alcohol and drug consumption, as well as more serious afflictions such as self-harm.
As part of this study, researchers compared their findings to self-reports from Internet gamblers. The results indicate that Internet gambling does have an adverse impact on gamblers, but not necessarily in the ways that are usually expected.
A similar study found that Internet gambling is not a good indicator of problem gambling. Although most studies have included Internet gamblers in their samples, a study on the actual number of Internet gamblers is required.
Using the Internet to gamble may be a great convenience, but there is a high risk of disordered gambling. Fortunately, there are regulations in place to protect consumers.