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Online gambling is one of the recreational activities banned or heavily regulated in a number of countries. Governments impose prohibitions against internet-based gambling, which means online casinos, sportsbooks, and other forms of gambling online are legally restricted. It is possible for gambling sites to exist but these sites cannot offer “play for cash” options. They are limited to providing “play for fun” games, which is essentially no longer a form of gambling.

Problem gambling

One of the main reasons why online gambling is being legally prohibited is its potential to result in problem gambling. Because it is very convenient to access it, it can easily become addictive. Players can easily play from the comfort of their own homes and frequent and incessant playing can easily result in getting problematically hooked, not to mention the numerous promotions and bonuses being offered by online casinos.

Some casinos, however, try to help curb the addiction with features like self-exclusion and gambling limits features. These features help players voluntarily control their excessive gambling. In places like the United States, where online gambling is still largely considered illegal, players are still prone to suffering from problem gambling both online and offline. They resort to playing at dubious online casinos or gambling sites that lack legitimacy. These tend to abuse players and make the most of their proneness to problem gambling.

If it’s any consolation, there are online casinos that try to counter the practices of these dubious sites. NoDepositRewards.com, for example, presents a selection of reliable online casinos that offer bonuses without the need to make a deposit. In a way, NoDepositRewards helps problem gamblers by giving them options that are not going to exploit them for their last dollar or cent. The site helps players in finding online casinos that will not scam them including those that offer provably fair games and those that allow the setting of gambling limits or the activation of a self-exclusion period.

Problem gambling is a serious issue that even entails societal costs. It ruins families, affects the productivity of employees, and can make people a problem to society. It destroys the lives of wealthy people and prevents the poor from getting out of poverty. That’s why it can be considered reasonable for governments to legally prohibit online gambling.

Difficult to control

Another reason why online gambling is being banned is the difficulty of controlling or regulating it. It’s not easy holding online gambling operators accountable in the same way governments oversee brick and mortar casinos. It’s a massive task scouring the internet for illegal gambling sites and making sure that they follow rules and regulations.

Suppose online gambling was legal, it is believed that scams and frauds would only become more rampant as it would be difficult for regulators to be in control. For gambling operators, it’s not difficult to set up a gambling site and close it down after defrauding a good number of players. These players may not be that keen on reporting their cases as they may think that going to court to file a case will only be costlier (as compared to the amounts they’ve lost).

It’s not going to be easy to monitor legitimate gambling sites, distinguishing them from the ones that refuse to follow regulations. Worse, it would be difficult to find illegal online casinos especially if they are designed to hide from search engines and are only promoted through specific means such as social media or forums. Some unscrupulous gambling sites may also reside in the darknet and only get players through invites.

Internet-based violations of the law are quite difficult to pursue especially when they only involve small amounts, like a few hundred or even a few thousand dollars. Gamblers often prefer thinking of them as losses instead of spending time, effort, and money trying to run after the online casino or gambling site that scammed them.

Subject to fraud

In relation to the difficulty in regulating gambling (even if it becomes legal), there’s also the natural proneness for fraud. Governments are justifiably alarmed by how rampant fraudulent gambling sites are. They could be providing rigged games or they may refuse to pay winners their winnings. It’s not unreasonable for governments to think that instead of exposing people to the fraudulence, better not let gambling sites operate at all.

But…

There are parties that accuse politicians of mere grandstanding or politicking as they assert legal prohibitions on online gambling. Politicians aligned with churches, in particular, argue the religious point that gambling is a taboo among the faithful. They maintain that it damages not only individuals but also families and societies in general.

To be fair, faith-based arguments do make sense. However, this does not erase the fact that there are many who are into online gambling but are able to maintain normal and productive lives. It can be argued that others can’t simply be deprived of something because of the misfortune of others that they could have actually prevented. Online gambling can be destructive but there are things that can be done to avoid turning leisure gambling into problem gambling.

The economic argument. It’s also important to point out that online gambling has its economic contributions. Jobs are created because of gambling operations online and offline. Online gambling serves players not only in a particular location. It can serve players in different parts of the world. This means it can attract revenues into a country without having to convince tourists to travel to a specific location.

Additionally, online gambling can be legalized and properly regulated to tap potential tax revenues that are otherwise foregone by making online gamblers go underground or gamble at offshore sites. There are players that resort to secretly signing up at offshore online casinos or using the dark web as online gambling is prohibited in their location. This concealed industry can be legitimized and become a source of revenue for the government.

Both sides of the online gambling argument present reasonable points. That’s why it’s important to have a more thorough discussion on the matter and to address things more objectively. There are good reasons for banning online gambling, with or without the political showmanship. It’s worth considering the economic and pragmatic aspects of the issue, though.


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