In the 1990s, online gambling became an enormously popular activity, and many people believed it to be an end-run around government regulations. Operators could set up shop in offshore jurisdictions, allowing anyone with a computer and a credit card to wager on the action. As the popularity of online gambling increased, the Department of Justice and Congress began exploring the potential impact of this type of gambling. While the research indicates that many people do not abuse online gambling, many people are still addicted to the games.
The prevalence of problem gambling has increased for Internet users, with nearly one-third of Internet gamblers reporting that they are highly involved. However, it is not clear if this is the primary cause of online gambling addiction. Int Gambl Stud., issue number 14, a study found that not all high-involved gamblers suffer from gambling problems. This suggests that no single factor is adequate for predicting a person’s propensity for problem gambling.
The federal government has regulated gambling, but states are permitted to regulate and legalize different aspects of the activity. For example, Nevada has already approved online gambling, while New Jersey and Delaware have begun the regulatory process. It will be interesting to see how these states react to the new laws. Until the regulations are set, online gambling will likely remain illegal in most states. If you are wondering if online gambling is legal in your state, it is worth contacting your doctor for advice.