February 25th, 2011
By Jerry Whittaker
I don’t believe on any given year, from day dot of the advent of online gaming casinos, that there has been even one year where there was no positive growth in the UK/European arena. By the same token, popularity in this gaming genre has continued globally, and even the implementation of UIGEA has not stopped all online gaming casinos, although growth has been seriously checked. If you take online poker as an example, the US actually has 15 million active followers of a game that is supposed to be illegal to play online?!
Governments with a positive and forward thinking outlook, who are not lobbied and manipulated by big industry, much as they are in the US; have successfully applied regulation and legislation to the online gambling industry and the UK is a case in point. This industry has been so successfully managed and operated in the UK that it provides a feasible benchmark for all other countries who wish to get in on the game. Admittedly there is a lot of humming and hawing, coming and going, and procrastination – the reason for this being that most governments maintain a monopoly over many legal gambling activities. Essentially they are afraid of losing their cash cow!
Online gaming casinos have proven that they do not cannibalize existing live casino business. This concern seems to have been the worry of big gambling concerns in the US that prompted the virtual “overnight” implementation of UIGEA – the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act. This Act is actually piggy-backed on to an arbitrary Wire Act which dates back to 1961. Now that the gambling industry in the US wishes to back-track an go online, UIGEA appears to be starting to enforce itself while at the same time biting them on the bum!
World leaders in the egaming industry have to continually look to new markets, seeking consolidations and symbiotic acquisitions. However it is hard to budge many Governments on the online gambling issue. Solid number crunching tells us all that this is beneficial business for Governments. In Australia for example, residents are allowed to gamble online, but no online gambling casinos exist. This is because they are disallowed by law. What strikes us as being hysterically funny is that Australians are allowed to spend hundreds of millions of dollars outside their country, when they could be doing this locally, enjoying sites with a local flavor; creating jobs and generating tax revenues. Is this a paradox or just sheer stupidity?!
We know online gambling casinos, sports betting, poker rooms, bingo rooms, arcade and slots games, skill games for money prizes, scratch card and lottery sites, are all here to stay. The growth is too phenomenal for anything other than this to take place. Now all that governments have to do is pull their finger out of their pooper and see the light. Procrastination may be the thief of time, but it also does a pretty good job of stealing tons of money. And on that note I will leave you with this thought ~
“If, after the first twenty minutes, you don’t know who the sucker at the table is, it’s you.” ~David Levien and Brian Koppelman, RoundersPost at 6:21 pm UTC by Jerry Whittaker