US Gambling Statistics Show Online Gambling Fun For Some, Dangerous For Others!

In the United States, gambling statistics show that live and online gambling has generated as much as $91 billion per year (as of 2006). The industry is responsible for billions more in related tourist income as well as the economic benefit of hundreds of thousands of jobs. In some states, gambling through lotteries is even used to raise money for college scholarships or much-needed infrastructure projects.

When it comes to the gambling statistics related to what kinds of games Americans are playing, there might be some surprises. While commercial casinos still take in the largest share of legal gambling revenue (43% in 2000), and lotteries take second place (28% in 2000), online gambling is estimated to bring in an amount that is roughly equal to what is spent in Indian casinos each year. As the internet reaches more homes, so does online gambling. And unfortunately, so do some of the possible negative side effects.

People who oppose gambling in general believe that it brings higher crime rates to an area. Of course, this isn’t eligible for online gambling, unless you consider the possibility of your financial information being misused or hacked. But this risk isn’t any greater with online gambling than with online shopping or bill paying.

What is a concern is compulsive gambling. Some statistics on online gambling have shown that about ½ of 1% of the population may have a problem with compulsive gambling. True compulsive gambling means that the person cannot control their impulse to make the next bet, even when they are risking their job, home, health, or relationships. And United States gambling statistics show that people are twice as likely to become addicted to gambling when a casino is located within 50 miles of their home. With the advent of online casinos, there is no longer any true distance at all between a gambler and a casino, meaning more people have the potential to become addicted to their emotional support animal certification favorite online gambling game at a higher rate than to live gambling or playing the lottery. This has lead opponents of online gaming to call it the ‘crack cocaine’ of the gambling world.

This problem has a serious impact for those who suffer from it, with compulsive gambling statistics showing that as much as 48% of the members of Gamblers Anonymous have considered suicide. And of those, more than 10% report having made a suicide attempt.

Plus, some opponents fear that there is a great deal of opportunity for money laundering and organized crime via online casinos. Since the US doesn’t allow any of them to be located in the country, companies have set up shop in foreign countries with questionable, if any, regulations. Some fear that US online gamblers may be unknowingly contributing to criminal activity.

However, for the majority of us, compulsive gambling statistics don’t apply. Online gambling is just another way to enjoy the internet, and perhaps to even earn some extra spending money! If you are able to set a limit on the amount you spend and stick to it, and if you don’t endanger yours or your family’s financial well being with the limit you set, then chances are you will not become one of the negative gambling statistics. But if you do ever find that your online gambling affects your work, your family, your health, your finances, or your social life, then you may need to seek some professional help.

Online Gambling World As Players See It

It is significant to learn where online gambling is in today’s highly commercialized world. This is not an easy discussion and will require us to expend time and effort if we were to seek enlightenment on this matter. But this knowledge is relevant for beginners, players, and casinos themselves. For instance, such information can give you a perception of gambling, not only in the country but in the entire world. Statistics can give you information regarding the kind of gamblers casinos have and the overall gambling behavior of the populace. If you are an interested online gambler, you should keep yourself updated to the latest news.

Looking at the General Picture of the Online Gambling Realm

At the present, gamblers around the world are flustered at the approval of the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA), which prohibits Americans from gambling games online and which seems the most pressing issue concerning the gambling public. Nonetheless, the bill targets only the American citizens and the US gambling and casino market. But the implications of this law spread globally. One of the notable effects is the higher stringency in money transferring procedure and banking options in gambling sites. This started in 2007 though in a vague, confusing manner. The outcome is the closure of online gambling sites as a result of reduction of stocks brought about by diminishing market as the US bans its people to join online gambling. Gambling sites outside United States also forbids registration of US players. Indeed, the effects of UIGEA travelled beyond the bounds of America, affecting worldwide gambling industry, impairing more casino sites than it ought to be.

Gambling on the Internet

So, you may want to check out how gambling is prospering in other nations which have continued the tradition of gambling. American gamblers are not entirely banned from joining the gambling sites and that should be clear. Some states still allow people to gamble despite the presence of UIGEA, which is not fully implemented across the nation. More countries around the globe are promoting casinos to compensate the dire slump in the US casino market. These countries include Barbuda and Antigua in the Caribbean area, where online gambling has been long successful and flourishing. The Caribbean has some of the best licensed online casinos whose boom has been due to low taxes and speedy transactions. Of course, apart from this Caribbean country, there are more countries that allow online gambling and online casinos to operate, such as France, Australia, South Korea, and Germany. These countries have long seen the economic advantage of supporting this kind of market.

Future of Gambling

The stability of both land based and online casinos is a subject of continuing debate. There is much discussion regarding the real economic benefits of promoting casinos and letting them thrive in the commercial scene. There is also an argument regarding the pros and cons of having them around and whether the benefits outweigh the disadvantages or is it the other way around. Nonetheless, experts believe that online gambling and roulette are sure to be around for a while and that this industry remains prosperous no matter what.

Online Gambling in Atlantic City

For better or for worse, online gambling is coming to New Jersey.

In late February, Chris Christie officially signed into law a bill that legalized internet gambling in Atlantic City.

Initially the bill was vetoed by the Governor because of issues surrounding transparency and taxes. Lawmakers adjusted the text and the amended bill passed by an overwhelming majority in the legislature and earned Christie’s seal of approval.

Here are the basics of the bill:

- Casinos located in Atlantic City will be able to apply for a license to offer online gambling. Only the twelve official Atlantic City casinos will be eligible for the license. No other organizations can offer internet gambling, and face stiff fines if they do. All facilities used for the operation of internet gambling must be located within city limits; only bets that are received by a server in Atlantic City will be legal.

- Players must be “physically present” in New Jersey to place wagers. In the future, New Jersey may develop agreements with other states where internet gambling is legal to permit out-of-state gambling. The casino’s equipment must verify players’ locations before accepting wagers.

- Any games available to play in the casinos can be played online. (For comparison, Nevada only allows poker.) As of now, sports betting will not be protected by this bill, although the state of New Jersey is trying to fight the federal statute barring the legalization of sports betting.

- The bill has all kinds of provisions to keep gambling addiction at bay, such as requiring the prominent display of the 1-800-GAMBLER hotline number, a way to set maximum bets and losses over a certain period of time, and tracking player losses to identify and limit users who may demonstrate addictive gambling behavior.

- Revenue from online gambling will carry a 15% tax. The Christie administration states that about $180 million in revenue for the state will be generated from this tax, but some analysts think this number is seriously overestimated.

The official regulations, which the bill required the Division of Gaming Enforcement to produce, were released on June 3, and are subject to a “public comment period” until August 2 before being finalized. These rules include details such as how a casino acquires the appropriate licenses and procedures for maintaining network security on gambling sites.

So, will online gambling actually benefit the state?

The Good

Revenues from Atlantic City casinos have been on the decline for the past seven years, and online gambling could be what saves the failing casinos. Since 2006, casino revenue has dropped from $5.2 billion to around $3 billion. Online gambling could be a $500 million to $1 billion industry in New Jersey, which may be enough to keep struggling casinos afloat and save jobs in Atlantic City. Further, even though estimates of tax revenue are all over the map, there is potential for online gambling to be a considerably valuable source of money for the state. The casinos will also have to pay a tax to the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority, which will provide further assistance to struggling casinos in Atlantic City.

For the player, low overhead costs mean better prizes and more opportunities to play. Casinos can incent players with free “chips” that have minimal costs for them but give players more opportunities to play and win. The convenience of gambling online allows players to play more with less travel.

BAD:

One of the goals of the bill is supposedly to attract more people to visit the brick-and-mortar casinos, but it is hard to say if online gambling will actually lead to this outcome. One could speculate it could even cause people to go to the casinos less (However, this seems unlikely; the social element and the free drinks are lost in online gambling. Also, research indicates that, at least with poker, internet gaming does not reduce casino gaming.) Advertising for the host casino will be allowed on the online gambling sites, which could possibly encourage people to visit the casino but could also be annoying for players.

Online gambling could be seriously devastating for people who have gambling addictions, or even cause people to develop them, raising financial and moral concerns. Even with all the preventative steps the bill requires, it will definitely be much harder to cut off compulsive gamblers if they can place bets anywhere with an internet connection.

Regardless, it is going to be a while before the casinos can actually kick off their online gambling offerings. The regulations need to be finalized and casinos need to apply for licensure and develop their gambling websites. This means the casinos will not be enjoying this new source of revenue during the 2013 summer season, which could be Atlantic City’s toughest season ever following recovery from Hurricane Sandy.