When online gambling first became popular in the 1990s, it was seen as an end run around government regulation. Online gambling operators could set up shop offshore and offer their services to anyone with a computer, Internet connection, and a credit card. In response, the Department of Justice and Congress started exploring the possibility of regulating online gambling.
While there are many advantages of online gambling, it also has its risks. In order to avoid losing money, you should always conduct a thorough background check on the gambling site you plan to play on. You should read hundreds of user reviews and determine if the website is licensed to operate. You should also find out who audits the site. Make sure to ask questions and make sure to read the terms and conditions before making any deposits.
Although existing studies have shown that Internet gambling is not directly linked to gambling problem, more studies are needed to understand the determinants and risk factors for online gambling. Existing studies have identified a heterogeneous group of Internet problem gamblers, but no single factor has been proven to be causal. In addition, the data collected is cross-sectional, and the self-reported information is often biased and unreliable. Longitudinal studies are needed to clarify how individual factors relate to Internet gambling problems.
While online gambling is widely available, it is still illegal in some states. In April 2007, Rep. Barney Frank introduced HR 2046, the Internet Gambling Regulation, Consumer Protection, and Enforcement Act. If passed, the bill would require the director of the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network to license Internet gambling facilities. Since then, several similar bills have been introduced in the House.