Online Gambling

Online casinos

There are a large number of online casinos, in which people can play casino games such as Roulette, Blackjack, Craps, and many others. These games are played against the “house”, which makes money due to the fact that the odds are slightly in its favour. Some unscrupulous sites have been proven to offer rigged games, which are less mathematically fair than they appear.

Online poker

There are a large number of online poker rooms which offer various games of Poker, most commonly Texas hold ‘em, but also Omaha, Seven-card stud, and other game types. Players play against each other, with the “house” making its money through the “rake”.

Online sports betting

Several major bookmakers offer fixed-odds gambling over the internet, with gamblers typically betting on the results of sporting events.
A relatively new internet innovation is the bet exchange, which allows individuals to place bets with each other (with the “house” taking a small commission).

Funds Transfers

Typically, gamblers upload funds to the online gambling company, make bets or play the games that it offers, and then cash out any winnings. European gamblers can often fund gambling accounts by credit card or debit card, and cash out winnings directly back to the card.
Because of the questionable legality of online gambling in the United States, however, U.S. credit cards frequently fail to be accepted. However, a number of intermediary companies – such as Firepay, Neteller, and Moneybookers – offer accounts with which (among other things) online gambling can be funded. Casino operators and online poker rooms often offer incentives for using these ‘alternative payment methods’.
Payment by cheque and wire transfer is also common.

General legal issues

Online gambling is legal and regulated in many countries including the United Kingdom and several nations in and around the Caribbean Sea.
The United States Federal Appeals Courts has ruled that the Federal Wire Act prohibits electronic transmission of information for sports betting across state lines. There is no law prohibiting gambling of any other kind.
Some states have specific laws against online gambling of any kind. Also, owning an online gaming operation without proper licensing would be illegal, and no states are currently granting online gaming licenses.
The government of the island nation of Antigua and Barbuda, which licenses Internet gambling entities, made a complaint to the World Trade Organization about the U.S. government’s actions to impede online gaming.

The Caribbean country won the preliminary ruling but WTO’s appeals body has partially reversed that favorable ruling in April, 2005. The appeals decision effectively allowed state laws prohibiting gambling in Louisiana, Massachusetts, South Dakota and Utah. However, the appeals panel also ruled that the United States may be violating global trade rules because its laws regulating horse-racing bets were not applied equitably to foreign and domestic online betting companies. The panel also held that certain online gambling restrictions imposed under US federal laws were inconsistent with the trade body’s GATS services agreement.

In March 2003, Deputy Assistant Attorney General John G. Malcolm testified before the Senate Banking Committee regarding the special problems presented by online gambling. A major concern of the United States Department of Justice is online money laundering. The anonymous nature of the Internet and the use of encryption make it especially difficult to trace online money laundering transactions.

In April 2004 Google and Yahoo!, the internet’s two largest search engines, announced that they were removing online gambling advertising from their sites. The move followed a United States Department of Justice announcement that, in what some say is a contradiction of the Appeals Court ruling, the Wire Act relating to telephone betting applies to all forms of Internet gambling, and that any advertising of such gambling “may” be deemed as aiding and abetting. Critics of the Justice Department’s move say that it has no legal basis for pressuring companies to remove advertisements and that the advertisements are protected by the First Amendment. As of April 2005, Yahoo! has provided advertising for “play money” online gaming.

In February 2005 the North Dakota House of Representatives passed a bill to legalize and regulate online poker and online poker cardroom operators in the State. Testifying before the State Senate, the CEO of one online cardroom, Paradise Poker, pledged to relocate to the state if the bill became law. However, the measure was defeated by the State Senate in March 2005. Jim Kasper, the Representative who sponsored the bill, plans a 2006 ballot initiative on the topic.

Problem gambling

Because the internet brings gambling right into a player’s home, there is concern that online gambling increases the level of problem gambling. In the United States, the link between availability and problem gambling was investigated in 1999 by the National Gambling Impact Study, which found that “the presence of a gambling facility within 50 miles roughly doubles the prevalence of problem and pathological gamblers”. If this finding is correct, it is reasonable to expect that easy access to gambling online would also increase problem gambling.

That same report noted the possibility that “the high-speed instant gratification of Internet games and the high level of privacy they offer may exacerbate problem and pathological gambling”. Bernie Horn, of the National Coalition Against Legalized Gambling, testified before Congress that the availability of online gambling “magnifies the potential destructiveness of the addiction”.

Online Gambling – The Soaring Rise From the Global Economic Crisis

During these tough economic times, it is no surprise that land based casinos are losing money. You may have thought that people would be flocking to sportsbooks and casinos worldwide in order to gamble and hopefully win big as an aid to surviving the recession that the economic crisis has spawned.

However, it seems that the opposite is true. The lack of money for entertainment means that folks are foregoing those weekend trips to Las Vegas and other gambling meccas. They have even become unwilling to spend the money required for gasoline or public transportation in order to get to land based casinos that are within driving distance of their homes. You could ask any sports book or casino owner how the recession has treated their business, and most of them will tell you that they are losing money.

Experts in the gambling industry have observed a ripple effect taking place across the world. Determining the patterns of international gambling is the subject of a study that has released some surprising facts about the gambling industry. Online gambling is rising in popularity in spite of the economic crisis. In fact, in 2008, the total amount taken in worldwide by online gambling was more than 20 billion dollars, setting a new high record.

Why are people shying away from land-based casinos and using online casinos instead? Simply put, they can make their money go much further in an online casino. As mentioned above, people just do not want to part with their cash for airfare or for any other form of transportation in order to get to the casinos. They are using that money to go to online casinos, and having their gambling fun in the comfort of their homes.

The gambling industry is predicting that online gambling will continue to be quite popular for as long as the economic crisis goes on, and even beyond. People are not going to give up gambling. They may not wager as large an amount as they once did, but the lure of winning is too strong for them to stop completely. They will turn to online casinos as a way to continue their gambling habit for less money.

All that is needed for online gambling is a computer and an inexpensive broadband connection to the Internet. Anywhere you can use a laptop computer or a mobile phone is also a place where you can gamble. Unlike land-based casinos, online gambling allows you to practice many of the most popular games at no charge. You can get a feel for a game before investing any money in it, which can save money in the long run.

Those punters who are smokers and have seen their favourite casino or sports book turn into a smoke-free establishment are also bringing their gambling dollars to the online casinos. Gambling via the Internet means no restrictions on smoking, food or drink. There is no dress code to follow, and many consider online casinos much safer than land based casinos. Several of the big online casinos are responding to this influx of new customers by making online gambling even more fun and appealing. They are adding welcome bonuses and other promotions, holding tournaments, and featuring player customizable slot machines. Almost everything you can find at a land-based casino is available at online casinos, plus a whole lot more.

Online gambling is very convenient, offers a huge variety of games to tantalize the punter, and suits the entertainment budgets of those who are affected by the economic crisis. There is no doubt that the gambling industry is right on the threshold of even more growth as it grows more popular than ever.

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