Although the USA has had a difficult line on internet playing, outlawing it completely in April 2006, most Western european governments have used the totally opposite approach and are continuing to liberalise online playing legislation; making it a lucrative market for online playing operators.
Even though The british isles has one-fifth of the population of the USA, it uses as much as Americans on playing, according to figures issued by the Global Bets and Gaming Consultants (GBGC). And much of these UK spend is now taking place online. So, what attracts online bettors and are there are any dangers involved?
The foundation of America’s ban on online playing stems from a written report issued by the National Playing Impact Study Commission in 1999. The major finding in that study highlighted the fact that ‘the presence of a playing facility within 50 miles roughly greatly USUN improves the prevalence of problem and pathological gamblers’. Obviously, with the rise of online playing that ‘gambling facility’ is sited within the home. So — the argument goes — giving rise to more playing opportunities and therefore the possibility that more people will become compulsive bettors. They are obsessed with playing, 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 in order to recover their losses until the point where their habit becomes unmanageable, and they go under financially.
But, despite the dire safety measures from the USA, the vast majority of people who participate online can control their playing and play comfortably in their means. For most, online playing is a form of entertainment where they get a buzz and occasionally a win. The fact that games can be played in the comfort of the home obviously increases the attraction. Sophisticated software are now able to replicate the casino experience; full-colour graphics and convincing sound putting you in the heart of the action, even if in reality they are in front of their display screen. And because of the rapid customer base in online playing, revenues are increasing allowing a portion of computer to be returned to players as bigger jackpots and prizes, which experts claim attracts even more players.
As well as the comfort and convenience factor, another issue that has lead to a massive customer base in online playing is the introduction of a ban on smoking in all public places. Rather than head off to their local bingo corridor or casino and have to endure the rain and cold while they smoke, many UK punters have chosen to stay at home and play online. That is a significant factor driving an escalating number of women to join up to online casino and bingo games. Online playing may be illegal in america, but evidence from Europe is that it is here to stay and will continue to survive into the foreseeable future.