Online Gambling involves betting or playing games of chance for money over the internet using a computer, tablet or mobile device. It is a growing industry, partly due to the popularity of social casino games. The first online gambling venue opened in October 1994. In addition to traditional bricks-and-mortar casinos and their digital counterparts, online gaming includes virtual poker and sports betting platforms.
The ease of access to a variety of different types of gambling has been highlighted as an important issue with potential harms associated with these services. However, research also suggests that it is not just the type of gambling activity itself that is relevant for predicting problems and that it may be how individuals engage with this activity. For example, a study that compared behavioural data from online gambling sites to self-report found that not all highly involved gamblers were at risk for problem gambling, and that a single screening tool based on frequency or expenditure does not adequately predict risk of problematic gambling behaviour.
In the US, online gambling regulations differ by state. Some states have banned the practice while others have established a legal framework for it. In particular, many states regulate internet sports-betting and have established licensing systems for casino and poker sites. Other countries such as the United Kingdom have a legal system that allows multiple operators to offer online gambling services. However, this does not prevent players from signing up to offshore casinos that do not have a license.