Online gambling is one of the most popular ways to gamble across the world. This is something that is growing at a very fast rate currently, mainly due to the sheer number of ways to gamble online. Players have more choice than ever before, and this has allowed for the growth of the market to go into overdrive. However, is online gambling always allowed, and can you get in trouble for doing it? We take a closer look.
Is Online Gambling Legal?
Generally speaking, online gambling is legal. However, depending on the country you are in, this might not be totally the case. For example, players are unable to indulge in real money games in the US
. Fortunately, this isn’t the case in England, so any players who want to play at an online casino or sportsbook, won’t have any issues doing so.
There are of course some exceptions to this rule. For example, if you are under the age of 18 then you can’t sign up to any online gambling sites. In fact, you’re unable to gamble at any outlet if you’re under 18. On top of this, there might be restrictions in place if you’re a problem gambler. It’s not the same as countries such as Iran, where illegal online gambling is a big problem.
There are two ways that you might be subject to restrictions as a problem gambler. The first, is if you are flagged by the site. This will normally be if you start making significant deposits to your account. In this case, you will normally be required to provide confirmation of your income, in order to prove that you’re able to pay for the deposits comfortably. If your accounts show that you’re not able to sustain these deposits, then restrictions will be placed on your account. This will either be in the form of deposit limits, or by blocking you from using the site. It depends on the level of deposits, and the severity of your problem, as to which action is taken.
Secondly, you may choose to restrict the site yourself. If you notice that you are having issues with problem gambling, then you may choose to limit your play time personally. This requires getting in touch with the site, and from there, placing the restrictions yourself. You can choose to limit your account for a period of up to 6 months, or to limit it forever. The choice depends on the severity of your problem.
Can you get in trouble for Online Gambling while Restricted?
It all depends on what you do, in order to gamble. If you steal money from other people in order to carry out bets, then yes you can get in trouble. Stealing is obviously against the law, and while you will likely receive some help in order to deal with your problems, you could also be charged depending on how much you stole and how you went about doing it.
If you don’t steal from anyone in order to do it, then you won’t be charged in a legal sense. However, if the casino you are playing at discovers that you are restricted, then it does mean they could forfeit any of your winnings. This will lead to you losing your deposits and potentially making a loss.
Is Problem Gambling Rising or Falling?
It actually depends on the time of year. While problem gambling had been falling for quite a while, the use of lockdowns during the height of Covid-19, meant that a number of people started to fall back into old ways. This was due to being indoors with nothing to do, and spending their time trying to find something to entertain them.
Many ended up using online gambling as a way to pass the time. With almost endless time on their hands, many people fell into problem gambling. As lockdowns eased, this did begin to fall away somewhat, but in some people, it did cause issues that are still difficult to shake off.
It’s expected that with additional regulations being touted and lockdowns ending that problem gambling will begin to fall again. However, in order for this to take place, significant investment is needed in gambling charities. Due to the increased number of people needing help, it meant that a lot of charities were overwhelmed with the number of people approaching them.
The government has taken steps to try and solve problem gambling though. New regulations are likely to be passed, which will give regulators more power to sanction betting sites that don’t help players who have gambling issues. This will help charities in terms of lightening the load, and it will help players in the long term.