In the United States, online gambling is treated like a vice, meaning that authorities concentrate on the business owners, not the customers. But in other countries, gambling is completely legal, and people can gamble at any time. In Britain, where gambling is extremely tightly regulated, online casinos are open to all, even those living in Middle Eastern countries. Whether online or offline, gambling has become an increasingly popular pastime, and the numbers are growing rapidly.
Legality is an issue in the United States. Most online gambling sites are based overseas, avoiding the country’s strict laws. While the Federal Wire Act prohibits sports betting over “telephone-like” devices, most online gambling sites are operated from overseas, making the situation unclear. This makes the situation even more complicated because the laws in various states differ. In order to avoid legal issues, it’s important to read up on the facts about online gambling and its legality in your area.
To get started, most gambling sites will offer a free version of the games. This way, you can get used to playing without risking too much money. If you decide to play for real money, you’ll need to register for an account and input your personal information, set up a user name, and enter a password. To fund your account, you’ll need to transfer money via electronic check or wire transfer. Some sites even accept payments made with gift cards.
Despite the legalities of online gambling, many states have already passed laws banning it. For example, Indiana criminalizes people who run gambling sites. Even those who simply help with the gambling operations are subject to felony charges. And Washington state, in a similar fashion, penalizes people who participate in internet gambling with cash. It’s as illegal as child pornography. But the legality of online gambling remains a lingering question.
Although online gambling is becoming more prevalent, it’s not clear whether internet users are more at risk of developing gambling problems. A new study by Wardle H, Moody A, Griffiths M, and Volberg R examined the British Gambling Prevalence Study from 2007 and found that the extent of gambling participation was not predictive of the severity of gambling problems. Moreover, only a single gambling index could correctly predict whether a person would become addicted to online gambling.
In addition to the age of the respondents, age and ethnicity were also important factors. While white respondents were more likely to be online gamblers, non-whites made up 37.9% of the whole survey group. However, these figures didn’t account for the differences between men and women who played online gambling. Regardless of gender or age, online gambling is an entertaining and exciting pastime for many people. It’s estimated that about 40 million Americans play online poker or place bets on sports online.
Internet gambling is also connected to increased levels of impulsivity. Individuals with high levels of impulsivity may be at greater risk of developing gambling problems than others. Researchers at the University of Connecticut examined 389 patients who were seeking free or low-cost health services. All 389 reported that they had gambled at some point in their lives. Interestingly, 90% of these patients had gambled in the past year and 42% had done so in the past week. Eight percent of patients said that they had gambled online during their lifetime.