Award Date


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Criminal Justice

First Committee Member

Melissa Rorie

Second Committee Member

Hong Lu

Third Committee Member

Seong Park

Fourth Committee Member

Brett Abarbanel

Number of Pages



While the recent liberal stance of the United States has facilitated the proliferation of legal online gambling venues, the ‘black market’ of online gambling remains prevalent. Illegal online gambling poses concerns for the legal market and risks for gambling addiction and consumer protection. Numerous law violations occur in this domain, which are produced by the interactions between players, gambling sites, and online casino reviews. Exploring the interactions of players with online gambling sites and online casino reviews is vital in enhancing our understanding of illegal online gambling activity and therefore allows us to develop preventive measures that can reduce the illegal market; however, a limited number of criminological studies have empirically investigated this subject. This study examined how structural and operational factors of offshore gambling sites affect players’ decisions to use such sites, drawing on routine activities theory as the primary theoretical framework. In addition, this study employed framing theory coupled with neutralization techniques to examine how online casino reviews interpret the use of offshore gambling sites in the U.S. Findings indicate that high visibility of offshore sites on the Internet leads to a high usage of the sites by U.S. players. In addition, online casino reviews providing a blacklist of online gambling sites serve as informal guardians, helping players avoid rogue gambling sites that pose a risk to their customers. However, online casino reviews affiliated with offshore sites not only present misleading information about U.S. gambling laws to encourage to use their affiliated gambling sites but also employ various frames to justify the use of offshore sites in the U.S., which leads to players unknowingly depositing at illegal gambling sites while falsely believing that their behavior is legitimate. Policy implications were suggested based on the findings and would provide insights toward effective online gambling regulatory efforts.

Controlled Subject

Internet gambling;Gambling


Criminology | Criminology and Criminal Justice

File Format


File Size

3400 KB

Degree Grantor

University of Nevada, Las Vegas




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