Online Gambling is an activity wherein a person can place bets on different events or games via the Internet. It is a rapidly growing industry that has been around for over two decades. Its growth has been fueled by a number of factors, including cultural acceptance, legalization, easy access, celebrity endorsements and increased internet penetration.
Online gambling has also been the subject of controversy. In April 2004, Google and Yahoo! removed advertising from online gambling sites after the US Department of Justice announced that a Federal Appeals Court ruling that the Wire Act only applies to telephone betting does not preclude the advertising of all forms of Internet gambling, and that such advertising “may be deemed to aid and abetting.”
Other issues with online gambling include a lack of face-to-face interaction, the ability for people to conceal their play habits and the ability for significant losses to impact credit scores. Additionally, many American credit card companies do not consider gambling-related purchases as valid. For example, some cards restrict the amount of money that can be spent on gambling to a separate cash advance limit, and others disqualify such spending from earning rewards like credit card points or airline miles.
Online gambling is a complex issue that continues to evolve. Research will have to continue in order to inform a greater understanding of the relationship between Internet gambling and disordered gambling. This includes examining the wider spectrum of gambling behaviour, a range of features of the Internet gambling interface and relevant individual factors that moderate this relationship.