Impact of internet gambling

The introduction of gambling on the internet has a major impact on society. We discuss the impact of internet gambling and question whether or not it should be made legal.

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The invisible barrier: “Illegal” gambling on the internet

Every aspect of our lives is represented on the internet. Everything from checking the weather to checking our bank account, paying our bills on the computer, sending daily messages to friends and family, ordering merchandise, and searching for answers to our questions. The most recent addition to market opportunities on the computer is the introduction of gambling.

What is internet gambling?

Any form of gambling, which makes use of the internet is referred to as internet gambling. It is commonly known as online gambling. The rising popularity of the different forms of Internet gambling like online poker, bingo and online casinos is greatly affecting society. Internet gambling is a multi-billion dollar market and criminal activity may occur when using the net to gamble (keep in mind that internet gambling is illegal). Furthermore, virtually no government authority regulates online gambling. Lack of central regulation gives rise to the spread of illegal practices and an unfair use of resources. We will attempt here to discuss social problems and impacts of internet gambling here, and invite your comments and feedback at the end.

Internet gambling impact on society

Criminal activity – On April 15, the Manhattan U.S. Attorney charged the principals of three of online poker’s biggest sites with bank fraud, illegal gambling and laundering billions of dollars. Online Gambling News Moreover, unregulated gambling provides network hackers with opportunities to gain an easy access to the confidential information of network users. Internet gambling involves online fund transfers requiring the exchange of credit card details over the Internet. Hackers can easily access such user details from online gambling websites.

Gambling addiction – I have a dear friend who reached a 10-year mark of recovery from gambling. One afternoon she logged onto the computer and up popped an internet gambling site. Curiosity tempted her to see what it was like. Within a few minutes, she was back into the gambling mode and lost thousands of dollars, without leaving her home. And I am sure that she is not the only person who has experienced the ease and availability of gambling on the internet.

Imbalanced distribution of money – The main winners in internet gambling are casinos. A panel composed of top casino officials, three of them were Las Vegas industry executives, all agreed that the legalization of internet gambling would give them the ability to reach out to new customers. And this already skewed picture of financial earnings would continue to favor already wealthy and resource-heavy institutions. Social welfare is not high on casino owners lists, shall we say.

Underage internet gambling – A huge public concern is the availability and easy access for teenagers to access the online gambling. The internet cannot verify anyone’s legal identification. The underage person can sign up for an account, state they are of legal age, provide a credit card, and they are on their way to winning the World Series Poker event.

Gambling and the internet: to legalize or not?

Internet gambling is illegal in the United States, but the debate is growing over whether to legalize, regulate and tax it is as a new revenue source for governments starving for cash to pay for under-funded programs. The popularity of poker, the game that is driving the effort to legalize online wagering, has grown exponentially in the last decade. And other games would soon follow suit. However, clearly the major beneficiaries of legalized internet gambling would be casinos. And we, the consumers, risk behavioral addictions, loss of finances, early gambling exposure to our adolescents and fraud to our personal accounts.

What do you think? Is internet gambling impacting us in any positive ways? Should gambling via the internet be legalized? What other ways does internet gambling impact us?

About the author
Marilyn Lancelot is a recovering alcoholic and compulsive gambler with twenty years of recovery. She has authored three books, Gripped by Gambling , Detour, and Switching Addictions. She also publishes a newsletter on-line, Women Helping Women for recovery from gambling. This newsletter has been published for more than 10 years and is read by women and men around the world.
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