While it is still unclear how much money the online gambling industry is worth, it has grown dramatically over the last decade. In 1998, there were more than two million active websites, and a report by Frost & Sullivan estimated that revenues from online gambling in the United States alone topped $830 million in the same year. In 1999, the Internet Gambling Prohibition Act was introduced in the US Senate, which would have prohibited U.S. citizens from gambling online. In addition, multiplayer online gambling was introduced in 1999, and by 2006 there were more than 700 active sites.
The prevalence of problem gambling among Internet gamblers is much higher than among those who engage in traditional gambling. Researchers found that 74% of Internet gamblers rated themselves as moderate or problem gamblers, compared to only 21.6% of non-gamblers. However, there is limited evidence linking internet gambling to increased risks of developing gambling problems, primarily due to the small number of Internet users in longitudinal studies. Therefore, it is still premature to draw conclusions.
While single indicators of gambling problems are rare, detecting risk factors using algorithms is possible. Moreover, some game-specific features may be causal factors for the emergence of gambling problems. Since many research studies have relied on a single dataset from a European gambling site, the findings may not be applicable to other online gamblers. So, research on gambling problems must include different types of player accounts to confirm the findings. And, as a rule, online gambling is legal in Canada.
The World Trade Organization is an international trading organization which sets and enforces trade agreements between member nations. The World Trade Organization, in 2004, decided against the United States after Antigua and Barbuda argued that online gambling is damaging their economy. However, the United States did not change its position. Its laws on online gambling were found to be violating international trade agreements. And while the World Trade Organization ruled in their favor, the case continued to drag on.
Some online gambling sites opted to work around these problems by using other payment systems, which enables consumers to use their credit cards without any issues. However, this approach does not solve all of the problems associated with online gambling, including a lack of customer protection. Some major credit card issuers have blocked transactions made with online gambling websites. Nonetheless, some credit card companies still refuse to process payments to these sites without ensuring that the gambling sites adhere to the terms and conditions of the new law.
One study found that people who gamble online are more prone to gambling disorders than people who don’t. In addition, fewer people in the US are able to resist the temptation to gamble in the face of this new environment. Further, because they cannot travel to a gambling venue, problem gamblers often find it harder to stop. Further, because internet gambling is available 24 hours a day, it is more difficult to resist temptation. So it’s essential to regulate the online gambling industry to ensure it’s healthy.