Despite the fact that online gambling is legal in some countries, there is still much debate about its legality in the United States. The Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006, for example, does not explicitly define the legality of Internet based gambling sites. It does, however, prohibit banks from transacting with illegal gambling sites.
Research is needed to evaluate online gambling’s impact on health. In addition, additional studies are needed to evaluate how the transition from non-online gambling to online gambling may influence the development of gambling problems.
A study in the US examined online gambling among patients seeking free dental and health care. Using a paper-and-pencil questionnaire, the study compared the gambling behavior of non-online gamblers with that of online gamblers.
Online gamblers were found to play more hands and commit more errors than non-online gamblers. In addition, the amount of errors committed was positively associated with the amount of gambling losses. However, the relationship between errors committed and gambling-related harm was only statistically significant for non-online student gamblers.
The study also found that online gamblers reported more co-occurring cannabis use than non-online gamblers. These results suggest that the accuracy of gambling plays a significant role in gambling problems.
Researchers used data collected by Internet gambling service providers. The study was conducted in a controlled laboratory setting, reducing the influence of extraneous variables. In addition, monetary credits were used to increase the generalizability of the results. This approach should be used in future studies.