Online gambling is very popular in the fast-paced digital world today. People can play in the comfort of their own homes or offices, can play in secret where and when no one knows they are playing, and can replicate much of the gaming excitement found by playing in traditional casinos. Just as with traditional gambling, online live casino malaysia has many risks and can cause serious problems for those who gamble online. There are even some unique risks associated with online gambling not found in traditional gambling. Learn more about these below.
Online Gambling Facts and Stats
The first online casino, InterCasino, was based in Antigua and launched in August 1996. That online casino had 18 games. Nowadays, there are thousands upon thousands of online gambling websites and games to bet on and play. Total revenues from online casinos have steadily grown over the last decade or so, from $12 billion in 2005 to $15.2 billion in 2006 to $29.3 billion in 2010. In earlier days, online casinos were not usually affiliated with traditional land-based casinos because the land-based casinos didn’t want to have traditional revenue streams cannibalized by online gambling. However, that trend seems to be shifting, as traditional casinos are now creating their own online casinos as an additional revenue stream.
Many teenagers and young adults play on “free” Internet gambling websites. Much research has shown that young males are the likeliest to participate in online gambling. It is estimated that 4% teenagers have a gambling problem, and 20% online gamblers may be habitual gamblers. Those who decide to play on online gambling sites essentially do so at their own risk; money-back guarantees are virtually non-existent, and oftentimes, age verification checks are lax or non-existent. Thus, it is relatively easy for habitual gamblers and others interested in it to access online gambling sites and bet real money.
Online Gambling’s Unique Risks
As mentioned at the beginning of this article, a habitual gambler has easy access to an online gambling site; all he/she has to do is log onto a computer (or even a mobile device), access the site, approve the payment method, and begin betting and playing. He/She can do this at any time, and it’s difficult for others to notice and prove that the person is gambling regularly. Conversely, people would notice much more easily if the gambler is frequently visiting the casino to play.
Due to the easy access of online gambling sites, online gambling can be even more addictive than traditional gambling. If a habitual gambler is trying to eliminate or cut back on gambling, he/she could avoid the casino or any location with gaming. However, when it comes to online gambling, one only needs a device with an Internet connection. The unique addictive element is that that device with an Internet connection has other uses, whether it’s doing work, research, communicating with family and friends, social media, etc. In today’s connected world, it’s virtually impossible to do daily tasks without either a PC/laptop, smartphone/tablet, or both. Thus, there’s no real way for an addicted gambler to avoid online casinos like he/she can traditional casinos.
In addition, there is easy access to one’s bank accounts and/or PayPal accounts when he/she is online. Thus, if he/she needs to fund his/her online gambling account, he/she just logs into the bank account or PayPal account and transfers the funds from that account to the gambling account.
Another risk with online casinos is that most countries outlaw them, but the ones that allow them are not usually well-regulated. Thus, it is difficult to know who actually operates the actual business, whether the stated odds of winning are really accurate, or to pursue legal action in the event the gambler is cheated out of money (either in betting or in winning).
Tips for Responsible Online Gambling
Gamblers who don’t want to lose everything, yet want to enjoy the thrills of gambling need to have a few rules they must stick to before they start gambling. First, they need to establish an amount they are willing to lose and not go beyond that limit. They also need to establish an amount of winnings at which they are committed to stop if they reach that level. This way, they can keep the winnings they have gained and not risk losing them, as that is bound to happen if they continue to gamble. Gamblers should also set a specific time limit for playing and not go over it for any reason. They should also be willing to take regular breaks so that they can avoid the temptation of continuously betting and playing, which are very easy to do on an online gaming site.
If a habitual gambler cannot commit to the tips above, there is software available to block access to all known online gaming sites. Someone else will have to set the password to unlock the software to ensure the habitual gambler cannot access online gaming sites.
By following the tips above, one is likelier to handle the risks of online gaming better and enjoy the experience more or to be more able to avoid the risks of online gaming entirely by not playing at all.