Gambling in the form of dice, card games and lotteries isn’t new.
People have been gambling for centuries, and during that time, we’ve seen the introduction and the evolution of new games and gambling platforms emerge. As our daily lives have changed, so has our access to internet gambling options and the behaviors associated with problem gambling.
One trend that’s become impossible to ignore? The proliferation of online gambling, a flame that’s been fanned even more intensely with the help of social media. In fact, earlier this year Facebook took its first steps toward letting users participate in real money gaming in the UK. It may only be a matter of time before that extends further, possibly hitting the United States.
Introducing Online Gambling
Nothing has had such a dramatic effect on the past two decades of the gaming industry (as well as virtually all others) as the emergence of Internet (online) gambling. Though options such as placing bets over the phone had previously been available, the ability to gamble without ever leaving the privacy of their own home has allowed millions of people to gamble in secret via their computers, and more recently, tablets and smart phones.
They’re able to gamble wherever, whenever, 24 hours per day.
For some problem gamblers, this creates dangerous scenarios. Where potential problem gambling consequences might have been slightly avoided by the potential feelings of shame about being seen gambling publicly, people now have plenty of easy-to-access options right at their fingertips, whether they’re on the train headed to work or slipping away on their lunch break to gamble from the safety of their car
That ease of access and a never-closing window allows gambling – and debts – to spiral out of control quickly.
But is Internet Gambling legal?
As of April 2013, Internet gambling is only legal in three states – New Jersey, Nevada and Delaware. In New York State, however, the laws and corresponding criminal punishments only target the illegal gambling operations, not the gamblers themselves.
The legality of your gambling operator is extremely important.
On April 15, 2011, the online poker industry’s biggest players, Full Tilt, PokerStars and Absolute Poker, had their domain names seized by the United States Department of Justice after being accused of fraudulent practices. While the event, dubbed “Black Friday,” severely impacted the operators and businesses involved, tens of thousands of dollars in players’ accounts vanished as well, lost by the otherwise innocent gamblers
The Future of Online Gambling
A 2006 survey by the state showed that while only 1 percent of all adults had gambled online in the previous year, more than 48 percent of those people had gambled online at least once per week in a given month.
Our use of laptops, phones and tablets has grown tremendously since 2006. If more people have access to the Internet and online gambling, and nearly half of the people who attempt online gambling are returning weekly… gambling losses must be skyrocketing. Juniper Research estimates that by 2017, betting through the use of mobile devices alone will be a $100 billion worldwide industry.
Ending Your Online Gambling
Whatever your gambling activity of choice is, your addiction can be treated. If you’re spending too much time and money online at work or at home, and its having an adverse effect on your life, seek the help of a counselor trained in problem gambling.
Find help for your gambling problem today by calling 1-877-8-HOPENY.