The Benefits and Disadvantages of Online Gambling
Gambling is the act of putting something of value at risk on a random event. There are two basic types of gambling: land-based and internet-based. In the former, a person goes to an establishment such as a casino and places a wager on a game. The latter is online, and involves betting on a variety of gaming activities. Regardless of the type, the objective is to win something of value.
Internet gambling is facilitated by the availability of high-speed internet connections. It also facilitates the rapid placement of bets. Online casinos, for example, are a great place to wager on sports teams or to play slots on a phone. However, there are many restrictions. Some countries, like France, have proposed new laws that would tax the activity.
Online gambling is also regulated by state and federal laws. For example, the state of New Jersey has a ban on gambling at casinos for people under 21. Those who do gamble may be subject to a maximum six month prison sentence. Other countries, like Canada, have laws that regulate the industry as well.
Although Internet gambling has become a boon, it has also garnered negative attention. Some argue that its legalization was an end run around government control. Others, however, say that the government has no legal basis to block it. A recent study suggests that Internet gambling can actually lead to a gambling disorder.
As an example, the DSM-5 includes a new category of Internet Gaming Disorder. These conditions may be correlated with the number of gambling activities performed in the previous 12 months. While there is no single indicator that predicts gambling problems, there are several signs and symptoms to look for.
Internet gambling may also be a boon because of the convenience and low cost of travel. Traveling to a land-based venue for a bet is far more expensive than a trip to the computer. And the experience of playing a slot machine or placing a bet on a sports team is certainly superior to the experience of doing so in person.
Despite this glaring omission, the Department of Justice recently announced that all forms of Internet gambling are in violation of the Wire Act. Until the law is changed, it seems that Internet gambling will be restricted to the states where it is already legal.
It is estimated that about 15 percent of online gamblers suffer from a gambling problem. Many of these individuals report that they have easier access to money online than they would have in the past. Nevertheless, the jury is still out as to whether or not Internet gambling poses a serious health threat.
Considering the potential impact of Internet-based gambling on the economy, it is essential that the United States explores the appropriate regulatory options. One way to achieve this is to establish an Internet gambling standard, which would ensure that gambling on the web is conducted in a reputable and responsible manner.