Online Gambling involves betting on games and events via an Internet connection. It is available on a wide variety of devices, including desktops, laptops, and mobile phones. It is a widespread activity, with more than 85 countries legalizing or permitting it. It has grown rapidly since the introduction of online gambling in the late 1990s. It is a fast-paced, high-risk activity that can cause substantial financial loss. It can also have serious psychological consequences. People who engage in it may neglect their responsibilities and develop feelings of restlessness and irritability. They may lie to their family and friends about their gambling habits, and they can become obsessed with chasing losses.

Unlike bricks-and-mortar casinos, where players wager with physical money, online casinos allow their users to deposit funds into their accounts and use them to play games. This money is called a bankroll. When players win games or bets, winning amounts are added to the bankroll; losing ones are deducted. Keeping track of this balance is important to avoid over-spending and accumulating unmanageable debt.

The proliferation of online gambling has also raised concerns about its potential for exploitation. It is therefore regulated by governments around the world, with laws varying across jurisdictions. Many websites provide a range of protections, such as requiring passwords, enabling two-factor authentication, and allowing users to choose whether their personal information is shared with third parties. People who are concerned about their gambling should consider seeking help from addiction treatment centers or a psychiatrist.