Using the Internet to conduct gambling has become an increasingly popular adult pastime. Almost 10 million users in the United States participate in online gambling, according to comScore. The numbers are growing rapidly.
The number of online gambling sites has grown dramatically in the past decade. In the fall of 2011, comScore found that online gambling was the fastest growing online category. There are several reasons for the growth. The cost of operating a web site has been a driving force. Online gambling has also become a source of income for many Americans. Many online casinos offer lower registration fees and promos than traditional casinos.
Historically, gambling has been an important part of tribal ceremonies and celebrations. In the United States, 48 states allow some form of gambling. Some states do not allow underage gambling. The State of Connecticut, for example, has legalized in-person gambling and will make internet sports wagering legal in October 2021.
Gambling has become a popular pastime for both adults and teens. The teen population has been known to succumb to gambling addiction at rates between two and four times that of adults. Teens report gambling for many reasons, including: excitement, boredom, peer pressure, and hope of winning money. Many also report that gambling helps to alleviate depression. Those with gambling addiction are also at an increased risk of becoming depressed.
Despite the prevalence of gambling, laws and regulations are still difficult to enforce. In addition, state officials have expressed concern that the Internet could be used to bring illegal gambling into their jurisdictions.