Gambling is a risky activity that involves wagering something of value on a random event. There are three basic elements of gambling: the risk, the prize, and the strategy. Some of the most popular forms of gambling are poker, casino games, and sports betting. Fortunately, online gambling has the added benefit of being cheaper and more convenient than going to a brick-and-mortar casino. Nevertheless, research still needs to be done to understand the impact of online gambling on individuals.
LaPlante and colleagues have performed a number of studies on gamblers who have participated in internet gambling. Their research focuses on the extent to which involvement relates to gambling problems. They found that people who are involved in gambling are more likely to report problem gambling, but not all involved gamblers have a problem. Additionally, they found that people who have used the Internet to place gambling bets may be at risk for a gambling disorder.
The relationship between problem gambling and involvement with online gambling is unclear. Nonetheless, the study by LaPlante and colleagues demonstrates the relationship between the number of gambling activities users have undertaken in the last 12 months and their likelihood of having a gambling problem. However, there are several limitations to the study. For example, the number of gamblers studied is relatively small. Also, the dataset was based on a single European gambling site. As such, it may not be applicable to other online gamblers. Furthermore, a single index is not sufficient to indicate a gambling problem.
Despite these limitations, the results show that the Internet does offer a potential environment for responsible gambling. Several features may enhance consumer protection and reduce the incidence of gambling disorders. These include targeted notifications based on patterns of play and player-focused tools, such as time-outs and self-set spending limits. Other benefits of Internet gambling include the possibility to track bets and losses, as well as the ability to place lower bets than would be possible at land-based venues.
Considering the rapid growth in the market for online gambling, it is important to consider the health and financial implications of this activity. While many jurisdictions have regulated the industry, more are recognizing its value and starting to legalize its operations. In particular, Nevada has started the process of regulating online casinos. New Jersey is also working on its own regulation of the online gambling market.
It is important to understand how the internet will shape the next generation of gamblers. A few theoretical models have been developed based on land-based gambling, but they have not yet been adapted to account for the emergence of the internet mode. By revisiting these models and considering the emergence of the internet mode, we may be able to identify pathological gambling among Internet gamblers.
Although there is no shortage of information about the prevalence of gambling on the Internet, there is still a need for research on its effect on the mental and physical health of its players. The best way to assess this issue is through longitudinal studies. Moreover, research should consider how to best integrate online and offline gambling behaviour. Finally, it should explore how to integrate the different types of online gamblers into a comprehensive understanding of the risks they face.