Nobody could have anticipated the changes and rapid growth that the industry would experience when the first online casino was launched in 1996. One of the largest online casinos announced in March 2011 and that it had played its one billionth blackjack hand. It’s amazing how popular it is to visit online casinos when you consider how many there are. This is especially right when you think of intelligent mobile devices becoming more accessible every day.
Nielsen Media Research’s 2010 statistics showed that online gambling traffic increased by 40% in the UK compared to 2009. The study also showed that 46% of online gamblers were women, and 50% were middle-aged men earning above-average wages. The National Annenberg Survey of the Young in the USA found that 16% of college-aged males visited online casinos at a minimum once per month. This is a significant increase over 2008 figures.
Online gambling sites are experiencing rapid growth. They are now accepting new payment methods, as well as offering more currencies and languages. Many online gambling sites credit their popularity to establishing industry standards by groups such as eCOGRA (eCommerce and Online Gaming Regulation including Assurance), better customer service, and a commitment to providing safer and higher-quality sites for players.
Latin America is the largest region for online gambling expansion. These 33 countries have approximately 570 million and are ideal for web gambling companies to invest in. Investors in financial services providers and online servers operators are eager to explore Latin America as a potential expansion area.
The existing infrastructure for telecommunications, which includes widespread access to broadband and mobile Internet, is a primary reason why online gaming has become so popular in Latin America. Access to the Internet was available for nearly 200 million Latin Americans in 2009, with a growth rate of 30% annually.
Because Latin America has a high level of device penetration, mobile online gambling is expected to grow the most. In 2009, the region had 80%, which is higher than the global average. Nearly 500 million people have access to mobile networks. This is in addition to the rapid evolution of graphics and game features for mobile devices. It is obvious why any online casino would want to expand.
Mobile device gambling isn’t just a Latin American phenomenon. The popularity of portable devices is increasing rapidly worldwide, and web casinos that create applications for them will be the first to profit from this market.
Online gambling has evolved a lot since 1996. Online gambling has improved significantly. There are now more regulations to protect customers and more currencies and payment options. Online gambling is rapidly changing. The casinos are changing the way they provide customer service with better software and graphics. New markets are being opened up by mobile handheld devices such as the iPhone and Android. This is a thrilling time for the online gambling industry.
Just recently, I did some research about online gambling. The same theme kept coming up over and over again. I won’t list any statistics as I believe many can be incorrect if they are not cited from a properly conducted study.
However, I did learn the following:
1. Online gambling is illegal in America. It is operated by offshore casinos that move between locations. These casinos are located in remote areas and are often operating illegally.
2. These offshore casinos do not hold any accountability because players can move from one location to another. Unsuspecting internet users around the globe can play these games without any legal restrictions. These unscrupulous casinos have lost millions of dollars.
3. The number of people who gamble online is increasing each year. Online gambling addiction can also be a problem for underage gamblers. This is not good news for their future as it’s much more difficult to end an addiction when one starts so young.
4. This form of gambling is dangerous because of its addictive nature and the availability of online gambling. Gamblers have access to online gambling 24 hours per day because they can play casino games from their computers. This scenario has profound implications.
5. Internet gambling addiction can be very addictive. Therefore, losses can occur very quickly. Because of the speed of internet gambling, addiction can also be very rapid.
You may have heard that Congress took a significant step towards banning online gambling.
They are now trying to make payment processing and handling illegal instead of trying to ban gambling sites. Gamblers will no extended be able to use debit cards or credit cards to fund their accounts. This would be impossible since most of them are located outside the US.
The ban supporters claim that the Internet’s wide availability makes it easy to gamble, leading to gambling addictions and financial problems.
Online gambling sites make $12 billion annually, according to estimates. Gamblers in the United States account for half of this $12 billion. Critics of the proposed law suggested that tax collection and regulation would be more effective than banning gambling. Prohibition didn’t work for alcohol. It won’t work with gambling.
The government had the opportunity to regulate online gaming and make tax revenue. Recent research estimates that if Internet poker is regulated and taxed correctly, it could bring the federal government $3.3B annually.
Instead, they have turned financial institutions into police. They propose to raise the maximum punishment for violators from two to five years imprisonment.
Bob Goodlatte, a Republican representative from Virginia, and Jim Leach, an Iowa Republican representative, managed to sneak in horse racing and state lotteries exemptions. It is unfair to allow horse racing, online betting, and internet lotteries while limiting other types of betting, such as casino games or poker.
Many countries have decided to regulate online gambling instead of banning it. It is more practical, and it is also a form of recreation for many.
There are still some Washington lawmakers who doubt the bill’s efficacy and will go so far as calling it a “feel-good piece” of legislation. This bill is more about news-making and less about lawmaking.