Internet gambling is a growing trend, allowing people to wager on a variety of games and events. It provides convenience and speed. There are several types of gambling, including sports betting, virtual poker, and casinos. Gambling on the Internet also allows for larger wagers. However, this may lead to some problems.
Problem gambling is a growing issue among internet gamblers. More than half of internet gamblers report having a problem before a recent gambling experience. A study of online gamblers revealed a higher incidence of alcohol, smoking, and drug use. Many of these individuals attribute their problems to the internet, while others blame land-based forms of gambling.
Most studies on internet gambling have been conducted on a cross-sectional basis. This has led to a lack of information about whether internet gambling causes problems. Nevertheless, some research suggests that there is a causal link.
A cross-sectional study of online gamblers found that problem gamblers were more likely to participate in Internet gambling than non-problem gamblers. Those involved in low-involvement gambling were not screened as problematic.
A study of problem Internet gamblers revealed a significantly higher rate of alcohol use, self-harm, and gambling-related medical problems. However, not all highly-involved gamblers were at risk.
In addition to these characteristics, the survey found that one-third to one-half of problem Internet gamblers attributed their gambling problems to land-based forms of gambling. These individuals were more likely to blame casino games, poker, sports wagering, and race wagering.