Internet gambling refers to any activity where you make bets, place wagers, or use any other form of online gambling. This includes casino games, sports betting, and virtual poker. It also refers to any activity in which you place bets and receive payouts from an internet-based business, as opposed to a land-based business.
Research suggests that the use of the internet to gamble may lead to gambling problems. Problem Internet gamblers tend to report more frequent participation in internet-based gambling than non-problem gamblers. But these findings do not indicate that all Internet gamblers are at risk for gambling problems. Rather, they show that problem Internet gamblers are more likely to have been involved in gambling in the past, and that their problems are more likely to be associated with the Internet.
Several factors may increase the rates of disordered gambling. These include the high levels of accessibility of Internet platforms, which can make it easier for gamblers to access and participate in a range of activities. In addition, the immersive interface of some Internet gambling sites might increase disordered gambling.
Many studies have focused on the role of the Internet in the development of gambling problems. However, these studies have only included a small sample of problem Internet gamblers. Moreover, self-report can be biased. The study by LaPlante and colleagues, for example, found that problem Internet gamblers are more likely than non-problem Internet gamblers to have had gambling problems in the past.