Is Online Gambling Harmful?

Online Gambling

The Internet has enabled online gambling, which is accessible to anyone who has an internet connection and a compatible device. It includes poker, casino games, sports betting and lottery-type games. Online gambling has gained popularity in recent years, and some jurisdictions have legalized it or regulated it.

Some forms of online gambling, such as those found on Facebook, have features that can trigger or exacerbate the development of gambling disorder. These can include the use of fake friends, in-game purchases and notifications that alert players to winnings. In addition, the lack of face-to-face accountability and social interactions can make it easy for problem gamblers to conceal their activities.

Despite its growth, the overall level of harm from online gambling is not well understood. This is partly due to the fact that many online gambling sites do not share data with researchers and do not have policies or strategies for identifying at-risk users. Furthermore, the constant availability of online gambling can disrupt sleeping and eating patterns, increase alcohol consumption and negatively impact relationships.

While bricks-and-mortar casinos have existed since time immemorial, online gambling is relatively new. It is a growing industry that provides a variety of different gaming options for customers. In 2015, the global market for online gambling produced more than US$33 billion in revenue and saw an annual increase of 12%. It is a popular form of entertainment, and it has become increasingly accessible with the proliferation of mobile devices. However, gambling is still illegal in some countries and people must be at least 18 to play.