Internet Gambling is a form of wagering that uses the internet. It includes casino games, sports betting, and virtual poker. Online gambling offers convenience and the ability to gamble from home. This form of gambling also offers greater options for betting products and a higher value for money.
While online gambling is growing, there are concerns that it can contribute to problem gambling. Research is still limited and there are few studies that have examined its relationship to problems. However, several studies have found that a small percentage of internet gamblers are at risk for problem gambling.
Problem gamblers are more likely to drink, smoke, and abuse drugs than non-problem gamblers. A recent study by LaPlante and colleagues suggests a relationship between gambling formats and problems. Among problem gamblers, more than half report having problems prior to using the internet.
Although the internet may be the gateway to illegal gambling, some jurisdictions have opted to regulate the industry and tax its revenue. Regulation is a good tool to help protect consumers, and it can also increase taxation revenue.
Internet gambling is also subject to federal criminal statutes. For example, the Travel Act applies to players who use interstate facilities for illegal activities. The Federal Communications Commission has the power to stop providing or leasing facilities.
There have also been questions about the constitutionality of the Commerce Clause. The law enables the government to enact restrictions on a business if it is found to aid and abet an unlawful activity. But attacks on the Clause based on the First Amendment have been unsuccessful.