When you gamble online, you place real money bets on games using your desktop computer or mobile device. You typically sign up on a gambling website, share your payment details (if you’re gambling with real money) and then load money into your account to begin playing. This money is referred to as your ‘bankroll’ and you’ll use it to make your bets. Once you’ve made a bet, you can also withdraw your winnings into this account.

Online gambling is facilitated by specialized software platforms that offer a wide range of casino games. These games are programmed with random number generators to ensure that they’re fair and unbiased, and the gambling companies partner with payment providers to process transactions securely. In addition, they’re subject to regulation by various gambling authorities.

In the United States, some of these regulations have been challenged on constitutional grounds. Attacks on the Commerce Clause and the First Amendment’s free speech protection have had limited success, though. In the 1990s, bills were introduced in Congress to curb Internet gambling, but they were never passed.

Gambling on the Internet can be addictive, so it’s important to play responsibly. This means managing your bankroll, setting loss limits and not spending more than you can afford to lose. Some sites also allow players to ‘time out’ for a set amount of time, which can help them avoid losing too much in one session. The ability to deposit and withdraw funds quickly is also an important feature for some people.