Most of us have been familiar with the term Gambling since an early age! As an early 90’s child growing up in a semi-orthodox society in Calcutta, India, I could sniff a certain social stigma associated with the term. Gambling meant putting your shirt on a chance dependent game; or staking your money on uncertain events, like victory or loss in competitive sports. The 90s was also the time marked for the Internet boom! From emails to social networking to online gaming – the desktops with first-generation internet connectivity was in vogue.

As you can imagine, the more traditional form of gambling now took to the internet and started gaining ground as poker online. With this onlinegambling mode, however, this norm must have ceased to exist, thanks to the anonymity of the gamblers who risked whopping amounts on the virtual platforms.

So, what does Online Gambling offer in contrast to the traditional one?

In this form of gambling, the conventional brick and mortar casino houses are replaced by downloadable software or world wide web browsers with the smart and interactive user interface. Well, technically, it offers more or less the same as the traditional platform for gambling does.

Examples are:

poker

  • Poker online games with the software or website being the poker-room or the conductor of the games, where the players play against each other remotely and the poker conductors earn money through commissions (popularly known as a rake) or tournament entry fees.
  • Casino games like roulette or blackjack, in which the online casino game providers have a biased, favourable edge over the remote players (typically known as the house-edge for the Casino to earn money).
  • Slot machines in which spinning reels and random number generators decide the fate of the players in the form of payouts.

Is it a worse issue as compared to traditional gambling?

While visiting real casino houses can be unnerving for these young adults, they are easily lured to online gambling owing to easy, anonymous access via computers, tablets or phones; this may lead them to steal or borrow money/credit or debit cards/valuables to pay for the games, slip into depression from losing, develop disturbing behaviour and the likes to the detriment of their physical and mental being. This is true for adults too who get entangled in the risky web of gambling, without sufficient backup to deal with the upshots!