In an August 2017 Harris Poll, nearly 3,000 Americans and Brits surveyed, reported that they had played at least one game of online poker or gambled at an online casino in the past month. In fact, one-third of the American population admitted to participating in online gambling, but the number was much smaller in Great Britain and the U.S., where only about 2% of adults said they gambled online. In fact, nearly a third of the people surveyed said they only played online poker once or twice in a year, compared to a fifth of the population.
While most online gambling sites offer free games to introduce players to the game, others will require players to download software and then play through a Web site program. Others play games right at the Web site, so no downloads or installation is necessary. Some games even feature high-tech software that allows players to gamble in a virtual world or chat online, making the experience even more interactive. Some sites offer prizes for players who play on a regular basis.
The prevalence of problem gambling was higher among those who gambled online than those who gambled in land-based casinos. The prevalence of problem gambling increased from 19.6% in 1999 to 21% in 2006, with online gambling gaining ground rapidly. However, these numbers do not indicate a correlation between online gambling problems in land-based casinos. This may suggest that online gambling is a dangerous addiction, even for those who are not interested in gambling.
However, some Internet gamblers attribute their problem gambling to online gambling, and more than half of these individuals attributed their problems to Internet gambling. These findings suggest that online gambling has a causal effect on some individuals, even though other problems may have preceded the problem gamblers. In addition, most Internet gambling studies are cross-sectional and rely on self-reports and are prone to bias. Therefore, no definitive answers are available yet.
Researchers found that internet gambling is more addictive than other types of gambling. In contrast to traditional gambling, online gambling is solitary, anonymous and private, while casino gambling is social. According to the Council on Compulsive Gaming of New Jersey, a large proportion of Internet gamblers gamble alone, and most who seek help are younger than traditional gamblers and have built up massive debts much quicker than their counterparts. The paper discusses these findings and explores the implications of this growing industry for the casino industry.
Despite the potential to harm the economy of a country, the World Trade Organization has already taken action to regulate online gambling. Its UIGEA ban also targets websites that advertise gambling. The ban came into effect in October 2006, but it has not yet been completely repealed. Regardless of its abolitionist implications, online gambling remains a popular choice. The World Trade Organization is committed to protecting consumer interests, and the United States is committed to ensuring that these online gambling websites are free from unauthorized influence.