Online Gambling and the Demographics of Land-Based Venues and Online Gambling by Type
Regulation of online gambling
There has been a lot of talk recently in the UK about how online gambling should be regulated. Various bills have been introduced, with one from Rep. Barney Frank in April 2007 being HR 2046 (Internet Gambling Regulation, Consumer Protection, and Enforcement Act). This act would amend the UIGEA to require that internet gambling companies obtain a license from the Director of the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN). While the bill has many supporters, opponents say it is overly complex and will not result in more consumer protection.
Regulation of gambling aims to protect public health and avoid criminal actions related to the activity. It also aims to minimize negative effects of gambling on individuals. Historically, regulation of gambling has been based on cultural, religious, and societal factors.
Research on disordered Internet gambling
Recent studies of disordered Internet gambling have shown that there are differences in self-awareness and adherence to treatment in problem gamblers. While adults who have been diagnosed with problem gambling usually seek help from friends and family, many young online gamblers do not seek out treatment or discontinue it before completion.
Impact of online gambling on land-based venues
Despite the growing popularity of online gambling, not all land-based operators have made the switch to gambling online. The reasons vary from legal restrictions to timing and audience. However, most operators have gradually come around to the benefits of online gambling. The following table summarizes the demographics of land-based venues and online gambling by type.
Those with a higher education were more likely to gamble online than those with a lower education. They were also more likely to engage in binge drinking, tobacco use, and illicit drug use. In addition, men were more likely than women to engage in online gambling, while women were more likely to participate in land-based-only gambling.
Research also indicates that online gambling can lead to gambling addiction. However, the effects vary for different people. Problem gamblers may be more likely to develop gambling addictions online. Studies indicate that people who engage in online gambling are more likely to report sleep disturbances and other gambling-related problems. In addition, they are less likely to seek help for their gambling habits.