Almost ten million people in the United States gamble online. This includes sports betting, casinos, and virtual poker. The market is dominated by North America and Western Europe, but is expected to expand in Eastern Europe.
The United States has a complex regulatory process for online gambling. Each state has its own regulations. In some cases, the federal law reinforces state law. For instance, the federal law prohibits banks from accepting financial instruments from illegal Internet bets. But state officials have expressed concerns that the Internet could be used to bring illegal gambling into their jurisdictions.
Section 1956 of the U.S. Criminal Code creates laundering for international purposes, to disguise or conceal illegal activity, and to evade taxes. It has been attacked on constitutional grounds, including the First Amendment guarantee of free speech. However, attacks based on the Commerce Clause have had little success.
In the United States, online gambling is primarily composed of sports betting and poker. The gambling market is estimated at $30 billion. The market is expected to expand in Eastern Europe and Asia Pacific. This is due to the increasing use of mobile devices. In 2011, comScore reported that online gambling was the fastest growing category of online activities.
Internet gambling is an adult pastime that can be easily accessed by teens. Gambling losses can trigger financial anxiety and depression. There are a number of organizations that offer assistance for those with problem gambling. However, if you or someone you know has a gambling problem, you should seek help from a primary care physician or a treatment center.