What is Online Gambling?

Online Gambling involves placing bets on sports events and casino games via the internet. It also includes lottery betting and other games of chance, such as slot machines and poker. Although it is mostly based on luck, some games require skill. Online gambling sites are regulated by the authorities and must adhere to strict responsible gaming and player protection laws.

Some people gamble regularly and suffer no real harm from it, while others become addicted and jeopardise their lives and the lives of those close to them. If you are worried about your gambling habits, you can take a free assessment with the charity GamCare.

In the late 1990s, online gambling began to gain popularity. It went from 15 websites in 1996 to 200 in 1998 and the first online poker rooms were introduced in 1999.

The US government tried to curb this activity by introducing legislation in the late 1990s, but it did not pass. Instead, a case in 2001 led to Jay Cohen being prosecuted for running an offshore online sportsbook in Antigua.

Currently, most states have legalised online gambling in some form. Only Utah and Hawaii do not regulate it. This is probably due to the fact that they are both largely religious communities that oppose the practice. Nonetheless, the states that do offer regulated online gambling include: Alabama, Alaska, American Samoa, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Indiana, Kentucky, Kansas, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Oregon, South Carolina, Vermont and Washington.