Regulating Online Gambling

Online Gambling

In the 1990s, as Internet technology grew in popularity, Internet gambling seemed to offer an end-run around government control and prohibition. A site operator could simply establish a business in a friendly offshore jurisdiction and start taking wagers via credit card. In the years since, online gambling has become a massive industry with a market value estimated in 2021 of over $145.6 billion. This has led to increased debate on the applicability of current laws and the desirability of new regulation for this sector of the gambling industry.

Some studies of Internet gambling behaviour indicate a higher proportion of problem gamblers among people who engage in the activity. This may be due to the convenience of electronic payment and the constant availability of the games, which can disrupt sleep and eating patterns. However, there is also a recognition that Internet gambling behaviour is part of a wider spectrum of behaviour and that the relationship with problem gambling varies by individual factors.

Another concern is the risk of fraudulent transactions. It is important for casinos to cooperate with law enforcement agencies, to share transaction information and identify red flags that can indicate fraud. This cooperation also helps to deter criminals from attempting to exploit online gambling systems. Some online casinos also provide players with tools to help manage their playing time, including a ‘time-out’ feature that enables players to lock themselves out of their accounts for a predetermined period of time, or a loss limit that restricts their spending to a certain amount per session.