Various types of gambling are available online. For example, online poker tournaments feature expert commentary and interesting filming angles, and they are considered to be a form of reality television. Additionally, a number of organizations are available to assist people suffering from gambling addiction. In addition, state governments provide support services. However, it is a good idea to know what is and is not legal before taking part in any activity.
It is estimated that the internet gambling industry is worth $30 billion worldwide. This industry includes sports betting, casinos, poker, lottery and other forms of gaming. The market is largely dominated by mobile users, which account for 80% of all online gambling industry users in most countries.
The market for online gambling is expanding rapidly. The United States, for example, is projected to be the world’s largest market for online gambling by the year 2020. However, the regulatory framework for the industry is quite complex. State laws are the primary governing body for online gambling, while federal law is a secondary factor that often reinforces the state’s stance on the issue.
Various state officials have voiced concern that the internet may be used to smuggle illegal gambling into their jurisdictions. For example, the federal government warned PayPal that it may be subject to prosecution, and federal prosecutors seized $3.2 million from Discovery Communications in relation to an online gambling promotion. Additionally, in the upcoming year, mobile devices will be the preferred means of accessing online gambling.
Various organizations have surveyed young people regarding their gambling habits. In particular, the Annenberg Public Policy Center has tracked the gambling habits of college-age students. In 2010, the Center found that the number of college-aged males visiting gambling sites monthly increased from 4.4% to 16.0%. The same study showed that the number of Internet gambling sites increased by more than two percent. The Annenberg Public Media Research Center found that the number of mobile devices accessed for online gambling increased more than ten percent in 2010. Similarly, the number of high school-aged males visiting gambling sites grew by over five hundred thousand.
On the other hand, the number of Internet gambling sites that are legal in all 50 states declined. While this statistic is undoubtedly troubling, the market for online gambling is growing rapidly. In fact, comScore reported that the online gambling market was the fastest growing segment in the US in the fall of 2011. While it is easy to see how online gambling is becoming more popular, the regulation of the industry remains a challenging task.
The federal government has recently retreated from its stance on online gambling. However, a number of states are moving forward with legalization of Internet gambling. While each state has its own specific regulations, it is likely that more will be on the horizon in the near future. For example, Hawaii will legalize online gambling in December 2014. This will allow state residents to participate in online gambling through various online venues.