Online Gambling is an activity whereby a person risks something of value (money) in the hope of gaining more (winning) through gambling games or betting on events that are not directly under their control. The most common types of online gambling include casino and sports bets. Online gambling is a burgeoning industry that is rapidly expanding worldwide. In the US alone, it is estimated that more than half a billion dollars are spent on gambling websites each year.
The popularity of gambling sites has grown in tandem with the emergence of mobile devices and Internet access. Although the gaming experience on a mobile device is somewhat different from that of a computer, the basic principles remain the same. Many online casinos offer free play to encourage visitors to try out their services before committing money to a game. Those who decide to play for real money must register with the site, create an account and deposit funds into that account using credit or debit card, online banking service or electronic check. They must also set up a user name and password for future access.
The ability to make large wagers continuously and instant access to a wide range of betting options has raised concerns that online gambling could contribute to problem gambling. However, research has found that identifying, detecting and acting on early risk indicators can reduce gambling-related harms sustained by at-risk Internet gamblers. Nevertheless, more research is needed to determine whether specific game-specific characteristics are involved in gambling problems.