Mental Health Risks of Online Gambling
In the late 1990s, online gambling became popular. It looked like a way to circumvent government control, as operators could set up operations in an offshore jurisdiction. And anyone with a computer and a credit card could place wagers. As the industry grew, the United States Congress and Department of Justice started exploring laws governing online gambling.
Despite its ubiquity, there is limited research on the mental health risks associated with online gambling. However, the DSM-5 (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders) has recently included a new category of internet gambling disorder. This new category of gambling disorder recognizes that internet gambling is not an exclusive form of gambling and should be considered alongside other forms of gambling.
While it is not possible to monitor every single transaction made through online gambling, there are some measures you can take to protect yourself. For instance, GamCare’s online assessment tool will ask questions about your gambling habits and provide a personalized report. It will also advise you on the next steps to take. Another option is Victim Support, which offers free support to victims of online gambling addiction.
Legislation regulating online gambling began in the late 1990s. In April 2007, Rep. Barney Frank introduced HR 2046, the Internet Gambling Regulation, Consumer Protection and Enforcement Act. This bill would have required the director of the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network to license internet gambling facilities. There have been several similar bills introduced to the House since then.