Online gambling has become an increasingly popular form of entertainment. Internet gambling enables users to wager on sports events, place bets on the outcome of games and contests and even participate in daily fantasy sports. Several countries and jurisdictions have regulated online gambling, while others have banned it altogether. In most countries of the European Union, online casinos and lottery sites are regulated and licensed by local authorities.
However, this form of gambling is not without its own unique problems. Specifically, the use of electronic payment systems to conduct gambling activities has its own set of issues. It is also difficult to track the amount of money spent by gamblers. And, the impact of online gambling on the health of the general population is uncertain.
The good news is that some jurisdictions have recognized the benefits of regulation, such as consumer protection and taxation revenue. There are several examples of this type of legislation, including the United Kingdom Gambling Commission and the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board. Other states are moving in this direction, such as Washington, DC.
For example, a new law in California allows residents to engage in legal online poker. However, if a resident bets on the outcome of an online game, the wager must be approved by a licensed gambling authority.
Another interesting development in the Internet gambling arena is the introduction of a new form of betting known as skill game betting. This consists of a software application that drafts teams for a variety of competitive games. These games can be played from a mobile device or a desktop computer. Most casinos offer both options.
Another important innovation related to gambling is the ability to place bets using an iPhone. Online casino players can play a wide variety of games from slots to blackjack to video poker. Many online casinos also have apps that allow users to watch scores in real time. Similarly, there are numerous apps available for daily fantasy sports.
Despite the potential benefits of regulation, many states and local governments have expressed concerns about the influx of illegal gambling from the internet. This has prompted Congress to investigate the best way to regulate and police online gambling. Several bills have been introduced to soften the federal Internet gambling law. While no bills have passed the House and Senate, the debate is likely to continue.
A survey conducted in Sweden revealed that while a few studies have suggested that internet gambling may have an effect on problem gambling, none have been able to establish a link. Nevertheless, it is certainly not out of the question to expect an increase in problem gamblers due to the popularity of the medium.
One of the best ways to combat this risk is to educate children about the dangers of gambling and gambling addiction. Moreover, Internet self-exclusion programmes should be developed to give users the option to exclude multiple gambling sites at once. Although a self-exclusion program is not a magic bullet, it can be an effective first step to prevent problem gambling from escalating to an unhealthy state.