A lot of people are surprised that online gambling is on the rise even as the world economy is still reeling from the effects of the recent global financial crisis. Well, the entire gaming industry was expected to lose money during the economic slowdown toto 88. But the story seemed to be different in the Internet-based gambling sector. In 2008 alone, the year that saw the eye of the financial storm, online casinos and other gaming sites earned an estimated $20 billion, a record in the online gambling industry. Experts even foresee that online betting will continue to grow even if the us and world economy shrinks further. So now, many people are asking what makes online gambling tick even in dire economic conditions.
Apparently, the unprecedented earnings being experienced by online gambling operators directly result from the growing attitude among players to shy away from conventional casinos and offline gaming. More and more gamblers are no longer interested in visiting cities like Las vegas or Atlantic City in a bid to save more money for gambling. Ironic as it may sound, many players want to cut the costs of their gambling by staying at home to play online. Going to popular gaming locations or even watching live sports would eat up a significant portion of a player’s gambling budget.
But aside from the financial aspects of gambling, the conveniences of online betting seem to attract even more players. All that is needed for you to be able to play online is a trusty computer and a reliable Internet connection. You do not have to pack your things and go on a weekend casino trip. What’s more, there are even smart mobile phones that allow users to gamble anywhere, even while sipping a cup of latte in a coffee shop. With online gaming, you can play according to your preferences. No one will mind if you smoke while you play or if you are wearing your pajamas while placing your bets.
The best part about online gambling is that a player can have a trial account to practice on at no extra cost. So, before a single dollar is placed on the table, players will have gained enough experience in a particular game platform. Compare that with real casinos where you really need to spend money just to get a feel of the game you want to play. With all the advantages of online gaming, it is not surprising that more players now choose it over offline gambling.
The lobbying efforts to get Online poker legalized in the country are only getting stronger. Poker lobbyists are backed by the multi-million dollar offshore gambling companies which are based in Antigua, Malta and other foreign sanctuaries. The lobbying efforts have been successful to some extent with the Obama administration agreeing to delay the implementation of the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA) til June 2010.
This has given some reprieve to online gaming operators who argue that if gaming is regularized in the united states it could generate billions of dollars of tax for the Administration. However not all are convinced. Opponents argue that online gambling would increase crime rate, threaten children and increase the overall percentage of Americans addicted to gambling. Some of the major opponents are National Football League, Focus on the family and Republican Senators like Jon Kyl from Arizona.
The primary support for legalizing online gambling are from Rep. Barney Frank (Mass. ) and other Democrats who are leaving no stone unturned to legalize online gambling in the united states. Till this time online gaming lobbyists have spent more than $4 million in lobbying efforts to convince lawmakers that prohibition of online gaming is not a great idea. Other supporters include former Republican senator Alfonse M. D’Amato (N. Y. ), chairman of the Poker Players Alliance who is the Chairman of the Poker Players Alliance.
The Poker Players Alliance has 1. 2 million members and funded by the Interactive Gaming Council, a Canada-based trade group for offshore gambling firms. John Papas, Executive Director of the Poker Players Alliance feels that prohibition is not going to succeed in any of the objectives for which it is intended. Another strong supporter of online gambling is Richard A. Gephardt whose firm is lobbying for PokerStars, a large poker gambling firm based in the Isle of Man.
The opposition to online gaming is also very vociferous and strong. It includes the four major US sports leagues, religious groups and some casinos. Their argument states that online gambling and poker will take gambling right into the living rooms of Americans which is a dangerous proposition. It is fair as long as gambling is confined to ‘brick and mortar’ casinos or a lottery store. In US online gambling is illegal under a 1961 law which was focused on bookies using telephone lines for taking bets.
The UIGEA is aimed to iron out any ambiguities that are present with Internet gambling. The new law will prevent banks from accepting credit card payments, checks or any other form of electronic payment related to online gambling. However, the hard lobbying by Poker Alliance and even the financial institutions has put it on hold til June ’10. Though the Obama administration is officially neutral on the issue, it needs to be seen which direction the boat sails after June.