Internet gambling includes virtual poker, casinos, sports betting, and lotteries. The online gambling industry is growing rapidly, with a number of jurisdictions recognizing the benefits of regulation.
Most online gamblers report that the most important advantages of internet gambling include the ease of use and the convenience of gambling from home. However, some online gamblers may develop gambling problems. These problem Internet gamblers have higher rates of alcohol use and drug use. Problem Internet gamblers also have a higher rate of self-harm.
Several studies have suggested a relationship between Internet gambling and gambling problems. However, most of these studies have been cross-sectional. While self-report is useful for tracking a gambling population, it is not an ideal method for determining the presence or prevalence of a gambling problem.
A recent study examined problem Internet gamblers in the United Kingdom. LaPlante and colleagues used data from the 2007 British Gambling Prevalence Study to identify gamblers who screened as at risk for gambling problems. They compared the rates of problem gambling among low involvement and high involvement gamblers. Their findings suggest that the higher prevalence of problem gambling is associated with the format of the gambling activity.
The CRS Report RS21984 outlines the relevant federal and state gambling laws. It also cites the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act. This law prohibits the acceptance of financial instruments in connection with illegal Internet bets.
In addition, Section 1956 of the U.S. Code creates several crimes related to laundering. These include laundering for international purposes, laundering to evade taxes, and laundering to conceal a crime.