Gambling is the wagering of something of value on a random event. It is a risky endeavor, which requires consideration and a prize or reward for a successful gamble. Several aspects of gambling involve an element of strategy, which can be used to reduce the odds of winning. However, it can be difficult to assess the level of risk associated with different forms of gambling.
In recent years, the use of the Internet has facilitated the increase in participation in internet gambling. This has led to a need to develop a better understanding of the prevalence of problem gambling online. Some studies have shown that people who are involved in internet gambling are more likely to be a problem gambler. However, this does not mean that all participants are at risk.
To determine whether an Internet gambler is at risk for gambling problems, a study needs to be conducted on a variety of players. The self-report of Internet gamblers is subjective and is influenced by the accuracy of reporting. Using a series of online gambling sites for a sample of Internet gamblers, a sophisticated analysis was used to detect if a single indicator could predict a person’s likelihood of developing a problem.
For this analysis, the self-report of Internet gamblers was compared to a database of real gamblers. A sophisticated algorithm is used to detect risk indicators, which rely on patterns of betting and play.
Results of this analysis indicate that a gambling index is not a sufficient predictor of a person’s likelihood of developing comorbid gambling problems. However, there are other factors that may be a causal factor in the emergence of problem gambling. Among these are the game-specific characteristics of the online gambling mode. These include the payback percentages and rules of the game, which can differ from those of land-based gambling.
Although a study using only one European gambling site has been undertaken, more research is necessary to identify the characteristics of the Internet gambler at risk. One of the most common e-wallets used in the U.S. is PayPal. Depending on the website, a player must register for a PayPal account before using it. Once a player has an account, he or she can deposit money, play, and then withdraw the funds. Physical checks are also accepted, but these carry higher minimum withdrawal amounts.
Another study found that some Internet problem gamblers attribute their problem to land-based forms of gambling. While some of these Internet problem gamblers reported having a problem before they began gambling on the Internet, others said they had not yet developed a gambling disorder. Most Internet problem gamblers were classified as “high involvement” gamblers, meaning they had been involved in gambling activities for at least twelve months.
Several research teams have attempted to determine the relationship between problem gambling and the Internet. Nevertheless, the lack of a standardized index for detecting gambling problems limits the ability to distinguish the characteristics of Internet problem gamblers. Moreover, a simplistic analysis could overstate public health concerns.