Although the popularity of online gambling has soared in recent years, the debate over the morality of the activity has persisted. While some view gambling as a harmless and enjoyable pastime, others believe that it poses a serious threat to a person’s well-being. For these reasons, the majority of online gambling sites promote fair gaming and allow players to set limit amounts of money they’re willing to risk. In addition, most sites allow players to self-exclude and set loss limits. Furthermore, laws ensure that reputable bodies oversee platforms and address misconduct.
Several states have enacted laws that make online gambling illegal. The most severe laws target people who operate gambling sites. Any person caught operating an online casino in Indiana can be charged with a class C felony. Washington state enacted the toughest online gambling law, making anyone who violates this law subject to prosecution. This makes online gambling as illegal as possessing child pornography. Luckily, more states are catching up with these laws and passing them.
Several jurisdictions are regulating and legalizing internet gambling, which can improve consumer protection and tax revenue. While the prevalence of internet gambling remains low, participation is increasing rapidly among those who are regulated. In the UK, for example, participation in online gambling rose from 1 percent in 1999 to 8.1 percent in 2011 – a staggering growth in one decade. In the USA, a study found that 16 percent of respondents had engaged in some form of online gambling in the past four weeks.