Factors Influencing Internet Gamblers’ Use of Offshore Online Gambling Sites: Policy Implications

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Policy and Internet

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Gambling is a heavily regulated activity, but policies are difficult to enforce in the online context. While governments may attempt to restrict access to licensed providers only, consumers can access offshore sites, creating a potential risk of harm and reducing taxation. This article examines how consumers select Internet gambling sites, and the characteristics of those who use offshore as opposed to domestic sites. Past‐month Australian Internet‐gamblers (N = 1,001, 57.2 percent male) completed an online survey. Participants responded to questions about their online gambling, including use of offshore sites, reasons for site selection, awareness of regulations, preferences for regulated sites, and gambling‐related problems. Offshore gamblers (52.7 percent) were a distinct demographic cohort, and were more highly involved in online gambling. Lack of awareness of gambling regulation did not sufficiently explain use of offshore gambling sites; rather, both groups had a relatively low concern for where a site was regulated, choosing sites instead based on ease of use, and cues that they were designed for gamblers in the advertised jurisdiction. Use of offshore gambling sites may be discouraged by focusing on the benefits of domestic sites and ensuring that these can provide a good consumer experience.


Advertising; Consumer preference; Gambling; Gaming; Internet gambling; Offshore sites; Online site selection; Regulation


Gaming and Casino Operations Management



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