Almost 10 million American adults engage in online gambling. Online gambling is a wide-ranging term that includes casinos, sports betting, virtual poker, and betting on games of chance. Generally speaking, there is no federal law regulating online gambling, although a handful of states have passed laws on the subject. These laws are intended to limit the risks associated with gambling and regulate the industry.
Online gambling has grown from a nascent industry to a $30 billion a year industry. There are several reasons for the growth. The Internet’s increased accessibility has driven this industry. In addition, the ubiquity of mobile devices has accelerated the growth of the industry. In fact, the latest survey from the Gambling Commission shows that in 2020, the most popular method of gambling will be on mobile devices.
The best way to figure out whether online gambling is legal in your area is to check with your state’s regulatory authorities. Most states have laws that regulate online gambling, but each state approaches the topic differently. If you are a teen or young adult, it may be a good idea to have a discussion about risks involved in gambling with a parent or other adult. In some states, there are a number of organizations dedicated to helping people recover from gambling addictions. These organizations often have referral services to local programs.
Online gambling is a booming industry in the United States. Online poker is estimated to be worth $6 billion per year. Among other things, this means that the average American high school student plays online poker at least once a month.
The biggest draw for teens is the possibility of winning big. Losing money can trigger financial anxiety and a drop in self-esteem. Teenagers are also drawn to the novelty of gambling. In fact, a recent study showed that half of all Americans with gambling problems are teenagers. Teens will steal to pay off their debts, sell their possessions, and gamble in hopes of winning big.
The Annenberg Public Policy Center’s annual survey found that college-aged males accounted for 16.0% of the overall increase in Internet gambling sites over the previous year. In addition, college-aged males’ usage of the Internet’s most important gambling-related function was actually higher in 2010 than in 2008. In 2010, high school-aged males were a bit less likely to use the Internet for gambling than their counterparts. This trend is expected to continue.
While the legality of online gambling is not entirely clear, there are many websites that offer help and advice for those seeking recovery. You can search online for “Internet Gambling addiction help” and find local listings. Other resources include your physician and a local AA or NA meeting.
The Annenberg Public Policy Center’s survey also found that more than 1.7 million males aged 18 to 29 gamble for money at least once a month on the Internet. This number represents a small increase from the previous year, but a large increase from the previous decade.