Online gambling is a form of gaming that allows players to play casino games, sports betting and more from the comfort of their own homes. All that is required is a computer, tablet or smartphone and an internet connection. The games can be played at any time of the day or night and are available on a variety of platforms. Some of these sites are regulated by a state or national authority. While others are unregulated. These unregulated sites may have rigged games, unfair odds or delayed payouts. This increases the risk of gambling addiction.
In addition, the lack of physical interaction and social accountability associated with online gambling can increase an individual’s vulnerability to addictive behavior. It is also easier for an individual to hide their online gambling activities from friends and family. This can lead to hiding problems and avoiding treatment.
Treatment for online gambling addiction typically includes psychotherapy. Psychotherapy can help individuals address the underlying mental health issues that contributed to their addictive behaviors. Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is a common type of treatment that helps people change harmful thoughts and actions. CBT is often combined with motivational interviewing, in which a person works with a counselor to enhance their motivation to change by examining their ambivalence. Inpatient rehabilitation programs are often recommended for patients with severe addiction. Inpatient rehab typically requires the patient to stay at a treatment facility for 30 days or more. Outpatient rehabilitation programs are also an option for patients with mild addiction.