Increasingly, jurisdictions are recognizing the benefits of regulation. One such jurisdiction is the state of Nevada, which has begun the process of regulating online gambling. However, other states, including New Jersey, have yet to legalize online gambling. A common federal standard would make it easier to legalize online gaming, and could enhance consumer protection.
Most studies of Internet gambling involve cross-sectional data. These studies can be biased. Self-reports are not always accurate, and there are only a few single indicators of gambling problems. A sophisticated analysis is needed to determine whether Internet gambling contributes to problem gambling. Moreover, the relationship between Internet gambling and mental health is not well defined. Until research can identify the causal role of Internet gambling, regulation will need to evolve.
Internet gambling is legal in many countries, but there are also loopholes in the legislation. Some countries, like Belgium and Finland, do not grant licenses to foreign casino operators. These loopholes could allow online gambling operators to establish their business in an offshore jurisdiction.
Many countries also have laws prohibiting gambling. In some countries, there is a minimum age requirement for participating in online gambling. Usually, the minimum age is 18 years. In some countries, the minimum age may be as high as 19 years. Regardless, players in these countries may not be punished. In fact, these countries often have state gambling monopolies. Hence, Internet gambling is often considered to be an end-run around government control.
Despite the lack of evidence to support a causal relationship between Internet gambling and problem gambling, there are some factors that may contribute to the emergence of gambling problems. For example, high levels of impulsivity may play a role. Furthermore, some online gamblers may have existing problems. In addition, certain game characteristics may play a causal role in the development of gambling problems. Several studies have explored this issue.
Int Gambl Stud conducted a study of Internet gamblers who are at risk for problem gambling. The study showed that gamblers who are at risk for problem behavior engage in a range of risk-taking behaviors. These behaviors can include betting more frequently and more than usual, gambling more than usual, and playing on different types of sites. Those who are at risk for problem gambling are also more likely to report health and psychological impacts of problem gambling. Moreover, Internet problem gamblers are more likely to report that their gambling problems started after using online gambling services.
Many states are also considering regulating online gambling. In New York, Republican Congressman Peter King introduced the Internet Gambling Regulation, Consumer Protection Act of 2013. This legislation would establish a common federal standard for Internet gambling. However, states can choose to pass their own legislation. In addition, the Internet Gambling Regulation, Consumer Protection Act would create an office of “gambling oversight” attached to the Treasury Department. This office would be responsible for monitoring the operation of Internet gambling sites. The Treasury Department would receive taxation revenue from the office’s activities.