Can you ever imagine your life without the internet? The internet has certainly enhanced our lives in many ways. Everything is more accessible and immediate no matter what goods or services you are looking for. The rise of the internet has impacted our shopping experience, education, employment, and even the online game industry including online gambling, valued at $57.11 billion USD – and lucky for them, this is one of the very few sectors that has successfully made it through the pandemic with very minimal damage.

The pandemic has drastically increased the use of online gambling services. The ban of live sports, casino closures and boredom has led many to turn to iGambling to feed their addictions or alleviate stress. Unfortunately, this is a growing concern that could provoke a new wake of gambling addiction.

The Odds are not in Your Favor

Online gambling is literally available to anyone who has access to the internet.

Depression: A study found that those with gambling addictions were two times as likely to be depressed and 18 times more likely to experience psychological distress. Risking money, especially in excess, can lead to feelings of depression and stress. Losing money, especially when one gambles what little that they have in hopes of winning the jackpot, is devasting and leaves those feeling hopeless.

Risk of Suicide: The link between gambling and suicide are huge. Gambling is often a symptom of mental health and is frequently linked to other addictions including alcohol dependency, etc.

Malware: Malware and viruses are attacking online gambling services. Since iGambling is purely online, this multi-billion-dollar industry uses money transactions through credit cards, wire transfers, e-wallets and more, making them more susceptible to all types of cyberattacks. They may strike through advertisements, spoof identity, online casino scams and more.

Identity Theft: Online gambling sites are risky and often require personal information during the sign-up process that can make you an easy target for identity theft. Hackers tend to find loopholes that allow them to exploit victims by gaining access to credit card numbers, chargeback abuse, creating multiple accounts and more. Playing on trusted platforms and choosing licensed gambling sites can mitigate any identity theft and fraud.

Money Laundering: Once money is placed in a gambling account and then paid out, the proceeds of their criminal activity turn into legitimate cash. Creating gambling accounts, placing money as bets and online gambling transfers are all convenient ways to “clean money”. Not only that, but it also provides a secure place to hide money from authorities, as you can use anonymous accounts and payment methods. According to the International Monetary Fund, it’s estimated that $1.5 trillion is laundered every year, which is equivalent to five per cent of the world’s GDP.

Mitigating Potential Risks

Netsweeper offers countries that do not currently have regulated restrictions solutions that can curb the increase of online gambling risks. The analysis and consulting for categorization and blocking solutions allow us to protect jurisdictions from falling victim to this global issue. For more information on how Netsweeper can assist with the online gambling market and eliminate threats by consulting governments, request a demo and download our solution brief.

If you, or someone you know is struggling with a gambling problem, visit the National Council on Problem Gambling, or call 1-800-522-4700 for help 24/7/365.

Submitted by: Natasha Pande