The emergence of online gambling has changed the way gamblers engage in gambling. It offers access to large betting options, speed, ease of use and faster feedback. However, it is not without risks. Internet gambling has been linked to disordered gambling, self-harm and excessive use of alcohol.
Historically, research has been based on cross-sectional studies. These are reliant on the reliability of the self-report. They are often too small to provide adequate evidence. In addition, they are not always sufficient to predict gambling problems.
A more sophisticated approach, called longitudinal research, can address this issue. Researchers can examine how a person’s involvement in Internet gambling changes over time. This type of study can provide insight into the causes of problem gambling. Some researchers have found that the rate of disordered gambling is higher when users access the Internet on an immersive interface.
Another possible benefit is the taxation revenue generated by gambling regulation. Many jurisdictions have already embraced this approach. There is also the potential for regulation to improve consumer protection.
While the number of problem gamblers has risen, the prevalence of gambling problems remains relatively low. Problem Internet gamblers are more likely to blame land-based gambling for their problems than a single online gambling site.
Online gambling is facilitated by advances in technology, such as high-speed internet connections. Gambling sites offer more betting options, better value for money and speed. Yet, there is little to suggest that Internet gambling is a reliable indicator of a gambling problem.