The Attraction Of Online Gambling

Although the USA has taken a hard line on internet gambling, outlawing it completely in October 2006, most European governments have adopted the totally opposite approach and are continuing to liberalise online gambling legislation; making it a lucrative market for online gambling operators.Even though Britain has one-fifth of the population of the USA, it spends as much as Americans on gambling, according to figures issued by the Global Betting and Gaming Consultants (GBGC). And much of that UK spend is now taking place online. So, what attracts online gamblers and are there are any dangers involved?The basis of America’s ban on online gambling stems from a report issued by the National Gambling Impact Study Commission in 1999. The major finding in that study highlighted the fact that ‘the presence of a gambling facility within 50 miles roughly doubles the prevalence of problem and pathological gamblers’. Obviously, with the rise of online gambling that ‘gambling facility’ is sited within the home. So – the argument goes – that gives rise to more gambling opportunities and therefore the possibility that more people will become compulsive gamblers. They are obsessed with gambling, and winning doesn’t minimize that compulsion; the more they win, the more they play. Worse still, the more they lose the more they play to try to recover their losses until the point where their habit becomes unaffordable, and they go under financially.But, despite the dire warnings from the USA, the vast majority of people who participate online can control their gambling and play comfortably within their means. For most, online gambling is a form of entertainment from which they get a buzz and occasionally a win. The fact that games can be played in the comfort of the home obviously adds to the attraction. Sophisticated software can now replicate the casino experience; full-colour graphics and convincing sound putting the player in the heart of the action, even if in reality they are in front of their computer screen. And because of the rapid uptake in online gambling, revenues are increasing allowing a percentage of it to be returned to players as bigger jackpots and prizes, which in turn attracts even more players.As well as the comfort and convenience factor, another issue that has lead to a massive uptake in online gambling is the introduction of a ban on smoking in all public places. Rather than head off to their local bingo hall or casino and have to endure the rain and cold while they smoke, many UK punters have opted to stay at home and play online. That is a significant factor driving an increasing number of women to sign up to online casino and bingo games. Online gambling may be illegal in the USA, but evidence from Europe is that it is here to stay and will continue to thrive into the foreseeable future.

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Gambling in USA

If there’s one country which could give the fullest life to gambling it has to be the United States of America. They say gambling flourishes there. The industry has crossed the figure table and has reached among the top spots. The multifold growth of gambling is probably because of the fun loving attitude of the people and a decent amount of income to spare. The gambling scene is outlined by the very famous lottery games followed by the most happening card games-Poker and to fulfill the dreams of the less lucky, game with high odds- Blackjack. The casinos of the country can be just compared to wonderlands. Studded with lights and glitterati on the whole 360 degrees one can be just lost in the dazzle. Online gambling is also a super phenomenon in the US. The gaming freaks spend a lot of internet hours trying their luck at the pot-hole. Besides the tribal games found in the less urban areas there is so much gambling around the whole continent of North America that it can be conveniently called as the gambling destination of the world.The gambling makes a person to wager against the house or the one who is hosting the game, but a different and much liked way of gambling is Pari-Mutuel. The kind of betting used in horse and dog races. The idea is to bet against the other betters. Thus the role of the host is gone and the winner gets the betted pool. This kind of gambling can be seen at the race courses. A game of Spanish origin by the name of Jai-Alai is also popular among the American gamblers. The points have to be gained against the opponents, some what akin to the rules of lawn tennis. The horse racing has seen galactic growth in America. With variations like thoroughbred racing it has gained the status of a festival in the hose racing events.USA has provided such a footing to gambling because the socio-cultural impact of gambling has been cushioned by the better income levels. But another very plausible reason can be that gaming is attached to charity too in many parts of America. People of the community get together and they pool in to play. The main games in such occasions are the Keno or Lotto. It has gained so much popularity that the television programs devoted to these are shown rampantly throughout the country. The charity remains charitable is ensured by the boards and commissions set up to monitor it for the states.Another factor that has popularized gambling in the USA is the variation of gambling -Riverboat. It can also be referred to as floating casinos and the practice is legalized in many parts of USA. The tourism attached to it attracts many foreign and domestic customers.Gambling is not the best of industries in all the countries of the world. There is a kind of stigma attached to it. So is the thinking of many organisations which oppose the practice and the steps to legalize it. But despite the efforts, gambling has not lost its charm. The tribes play it and so does the metro-sexual. Gambling is all over and deep under…

Politicians Want to Protect us From the Evils of On-Line Gambling Part 2

This is part 2 of a multipart series of articles regarding proposed anti-gambling legislation. In this article, I begin discussion of the quoted reasons for this legislation, and the actual facts that exist in the real world.The legislators are trying to protect us from something, or are they? The whole thing seems a little confusing to say the least.As mentioned in the previous article, the House, and the Senate, are once again considering the issue of “Online Gambling”. Bills have been submitted by Congressmen Goodlatte and Leach, and also by Senator Kyl.The bill being put forward by Rep. Goodlatte, The Internet Gambling Prohibition Act, has the stated intention of updating the Wire Act to outlaw all forms of online gambling, to make it illegal for a gambling business to accept credit and electronic transfers, and to force ISPs and Common Carriers to block access to gambling related sites at the request of law enforcement.Just as does Rep. Goodlatte, Sen. Kyl, in his bill, Prohibition on Funding of Unlawful Internet Gambling, makes it illegal for gambling businesses to accept credit cards, electronic transfers, checks and other forms of payment for the purpose on placing illegal bets, but his bill does not address those that place bets.The bill submitted by Rep. Leach, The Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act, is basically a copy of the bill submitted by Sen. Kyl. It focuses on preventing gambling businesses from accepting credit cards, electronic transfers, checks, and other payments, and like the Kyl bill makes no changes to what is currently legal, or illegal.So, regardless of whether online gambling is currently legal or not, just what is it that the politicians are trying to protect us from? Why is it so important to make online gambling illegal?One answer is contained in this quote from Rep. Goodlatte “will keep children from borrowing the family credit card, logging on to the family computer, and losing thousands of dollars all before their parents get home from work”.I think a fair translation of that quote would be “American parents are incapable of raising their own children so Congress should step in and do it for them’. Because of course we are all aware that the politicians have a much better idea of what is best for us and our children than we do.And in another quote “In short, the Internet is a challenge to the sovereignty of civilized communities, States, and nations to decide what is appropriate and decent behavior”.A reasonable translation of this quote would seem to go something like “Individual Americans are not capable of deciding for themselves what behavior is appropriate and decent in their own homes. Fortunately Congress is here to protect them from themselves and legislate morality for them”.Not only is Congress supposedly responsible for raising the children of America, but in order to do so, and to prevent us from unknowingly doing something indecent, they are going to legislate what we can do with our own money, on our own time, in our own homes. Does this sound like the very model of a free society, or the beginnings of a misguided totalitarian state?Let’s delve a little deeper into these protections and see just how interested the politicians really are in making sure that our children are safe from the evils of gambling.Remember, all of these following forms of gambling are either currently legal, or would be made specifically legal in the bill being put forward by Rep. Goodlatte.First, we have casinos, and race tracks. These little money makers are proliferating all over the country and generate quite a bit of tax revenue for federal and state governments as well as profits for their operators. The people behind the anti-online gambling bills would have you believe that casinos are not an issue when it comes to underage individuals, since casino staff can see the individuals in person and assess their age.Quite to the contrary however, we have this quote from The Illinois Institute for Addiction Recovery “Casino kids have been left by themselves at the outer rim of casinos while their parents gamble, according to some casino security officers. In some extreme cases, children are left in the family car in the casino parking lot for hours at a time while their parents gamble inside. Less obviously, children may also spend several hours each week with babysitters while their parents gamble in casinos, bingo halls or card rooms.”While I certainly wouldn’t try to claim that online gambling is good for the American family, clearly, to the extent that children can relax and play in their own homes, and sleep in their own beds, online gambling presents less of a problem than the current state supported alternative.Another form of online gambling that the proposed legislation would exempt from illegal status is the sale of lottery tickets by the states over the internet. It is difficult to see how these legislators show deep concern for the children of America based on the following quote from Overcoming Life Digest (July/August, 1998 Issue) “Studies show that lotteries are the favorite legal gambling game for teenagers. Statistically, one of seven who play will become addicted.” And from the Council on Compulsive Gambling of New Jersey (6 June 2003), “Many regard lotteries as a relatively benign form of gambling. However, 31 percent of callers to the 1-800-GAMBLER national hotline (operated by the Council on Compulsive Gambling of New Jersey) indicated problems with lottery gambling.”In yet another example of government raking in cash without regard for the children of America, we have Video Lottery Machines. Video Lottery Machines, or VLTs are nothing more than state sponsored electronic video poker machines. According to David Plotz in Slate.com on Friday December 17th, 1999 “These are the most addictive of any gambling instrument we have today. It is a cinch for kids to play video lottery machines, since they are often found in businesses that kids frequent.” These devices are being licensed for use in grocery stores, convenience stores, bars and markets around the country, where the children of America have easy access.Clearly, the legislation proposed does not “keep children from borrowing the family credit card, logging on to the family computer, and losing thousands of dollars all before their parents get home from work”, They will be able to buy lottery tickets, bet on horse races, and head down to the local convenience store to play the VLTs.In the next article, I will continue coverage of the issues raised by politicians who are against online gambling, and provide a different perspective to their rhetoric, covering the Abramoff card, and the affect of gambling on the family.