Online Gambling is a practice that allows gamblers to place bets or wagers on various games via the Internet. In order to play, the user must first create an account and provide a valid payment method. Many online gambling sites accept major credit and debit cards such as Visa and Mastercard, as well as prepaid card options like American Express and Discover. Additionally, some sites offer cryptocurrency options such as Bitcoin and Ethereum that can be used for instant deposits and withdrawals.
While some concern exists that Internet gambling may lead to problem gambling, research indicates that the vast majority of online gamblers are not at risk for developing a problem. Furthermore, studies comparing data from a variety of gambling sites show that the prevalence of gambling problems is not related to the amount or frequency of Internet gaming engagement.
In addition, the use of online gambling services is completely anonymous and cannot be tracked by law enforcement. As a result, it is difficult to prosecute individuals for illegal Internet gambling activity. However, some states have passed laws prohibiting the operation of a gambling website or requiring the use of a special IP address to access one. Moreover, Indiana has a law that makes it a felony for anyone to operate or assist with the operation of an Internet gambling site. Likewise, Washington has some of the strictest state laws against Internet gambling. Those found violating these laws can be charged with a class C felony.