While the US still ignores the tremendous revenue source to be generated by licensing and regulating online gambling, most of the rest of the world moves forward in a wonderful new era of embracing new entertainment technology. Sites like betulator, which helps European sports bettors calculate their risk/reward ratio on wagers, attest to the responsibility most players exhibit in their gambling forays. Many are winners. The days of the virtual casino operators “fleecing innocent victims” are, largely, behind us.
In Asia, the continent on planet earth with the highest population, online gaming is the fastest growing industry by a wide margin. Many European countries which have decided online gambling is something to keep a tight reign on still allow it, choosing to regulate it more tightly and keep it in-country. An example is Italy, where online poker players are only allowed to play in games with other Italian residents. It isn’t exactly freedom, but at least they let the people play the games they want and don’t try to tell their citizens how to spend their own hard-earned paycheck.
So what’s wrong with the USA situation? When examined closely, we discover the issue is not so much legislation as it is fear of legislation. Contrary to a popular misnomer, there is no federal law addressing online gaming, other than a vague reference tacked on to an unrelated bill preventing banks from completing transactions to “illegal online gambling sites.” There is no law, nor has any high court judge ever dared to rule on, defining “illegal online gambling sites.” But the vague reference was enough to scare all the major banks away, including Paypal. US citizens who wish to place on bet on their favorite football game must seek our creative ways to fund the wager.
Meanwhile, a small handful of individual states have wisely officially legalized online poker, in a format where the state gets a cut of the revenue. More states are supposedly lined up to follow, if they can ever get to the issue.
Interestingly enough, all Americans can bet to their heart’s content on horse races through several popular online portals. There are websites that sell Powerball lottery tickets online. So it seems some forms of online gambling are so traditional, so ingrained in our culture, that they are above fear of legislation.