Risks of Gambling
Regardless of whether you gamble money at a licensed and regulated casino or do so illegally, online, gambling is risky business. Internet gambling offers up a host of risks not present in legal situations. Participants can never know who operates the sites and if the games are honest or rigged. There is no way to ensure that winnings will be paid or if the money wagered will be used for criminal purposes. There is no recourse if winnings are not awarded.
Players also become vulnerable to the many risks inherent in Internet activity such as credit card fraud, identity theft, and other financial crimes associated with disclosing personal information on insecure networks. Perhaps the greatest risk is that Internet gambling takes place in an uncontrolled environment where minors and those with gambling addictions are particularly susceptible.
If you find yourself unable to control your urge to gamble, help is available. The National Council on Problem Gambling offers a 24-hour national hotline and programs to assist in the treatment of gambling addictions. Gamblers Anonymous is a free support group for individuals who are seeking assistance in their battle against their addiction and for those in recovery from compulsive gambling.