Internet has brought gambling into homes, and has made it available to everyone and everywhere in the world. The first actual online casino was formed in 1995, and now there are above 500 gambling websites on internet. In 1997, $200 million were earned by this business. Online gambling makes at least $3 billion of annual revenue.
Gamblers log on to the website and deposit funds by using credit cards, certified cheques, money orders, or through wire transfers. If they win/loose the amount is automatically credited/deducted from their accounts.
As online gambling has gained popularity, it also gave birth to the gambling addiction. Now days, gambling addiction is the main concern that comes in the context of online gambling. It is a fact that legalized online gambling sites are the major source of online gambling. In traditional casinos gamblers use real chips or money, while online gamblers bets on a click of mouse instead of any tangible money.
Video gambling is more popular as compared to other forms of online gambling because of its faster feedback. Sociologist and psychiatrists refers it as ‘crack-cocaine of gambling addiction’.
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The reason behind the popularity of online gambling is that it is easily and quickly accessible by everyone. The advantage of online gambling is the unlimited time, where as traditional gambling has limited hours of operation. It is suggested that gamblers who have lost an incredible amount of money are more likely to keep betting on their computers than if they were sitting at a table with others watching. With unlimited potential for minors to access these online gambling sites, opponents of this industry argue that the only way to keep children away is to prohibit these sites to everyone.
The instinctive nature of online gambling gives birth to various frauds. Online gamblers have no idea whether the game in going on fairly or not? The most common type of fraud is the abuse of credit card information and the neglect to pay out the winning amount to the winners, who can never approach them.
Canadian Law, section 207(4) (c), prohibits lottery schemes operated on or through a computer, video device or slot machine if it is not conducted and managed by a provincial government. This law clearly says that online gambling and its addiction is totally illegal. At this time, Canada should enact new legislations to address online gambling addiction, while, American government is creating legislation to completely ban online gambling. The most important bill is the Internet Gambling Prohibition Act (IGPA).
Online gambling has become a massive business on the internet and this explosive business will definitely be added with new technology and advancement in the near future. There are various problems associated with this gambling like addiction, bankruptcy, availability to minors, fraud and other crimes, and loss of revenues through fraudulent activities. Currently, there are no measures to stop this business, but governments all over the world should take some action against online gambling because it is promoting new crimes and frauds and it is also affecting the children, adversely.