Online Gambling has been around for some time. In the late 1990s there were some 200 gambling websites in existence. A Frost & Sullivan report indicated that revenues topped $830 million in 1998.
The advent of the Internet brought about an array of legal and illegal options. Some online operators went into business in offshore jurisdictions. This led to legal and legalistic disputes between federal and state authorities.
On the other hand, some problem gamblers attribute their problems to online gambling. Regardless of the cause, the presence of an interstate element makes enforcement policies in many jurisdictions difficult to implement.
However, some jurisdictions have opted to regulate this activity, which has resulted in a growing number of regulated and unregulated online gambling sites. As a result, consumer protection and taxation benefits are being reaped.
Research has shown that internet gambling does not necessarily spawn problem gambling. Many studies have been conducted on the subject, but most are limited to a small sample of cross-sectional participants. Similarly, the relationships between online gambling and health concerns are still largely unknown.
The best research on the topic has been done in the UK, Sweden, and Australia. While not all low involvement gamblers screen positively for problem gambling, there is evidence that a modest involvement level does indeed predispose a participant to a more serious gambling disorder.
The Internet is a convenient medium for tracking deposits, losses, and wins. Moreover, some casinos offer mobile versions that enable players to access the game from anywhere.