Excitingly waiting for the roulette ball to stop on the black 8 or waiting for that 21 to hit is a feeling shared for a lot of people, worldwide, so it’s not that surprising that casinos were, are, and always will be a force to be reckoned with. Even though we really don’t know when it started, gambling houses are known to have existed as far back as the Ancient Greeks, as like making fire, betting is almost a natural human instinct. We can even imagine the first human beings betting who could bring more meat for dinner, or even who could start a fire quicker.
Now, at some point in history, governments and institutions had to start controlling this industry, because, on one hand, it could bring a society to a dark place, and on the other hand, it makes a large amount of money, as the saying “the house always wins” is no lie. That way, physical and legal casinos started appearing everywhere, even though in most places, illegal street ones also had their share of the pot.
With technological and social evolution, it makes sense that grabbing your car keys and driving to a casino was substituted by turning on your computer and accessing a quick website. Sure, it’s not the same thing, as you don’t have that shared reush and joy with other people, and those free drinks from beautiful waitresses, but convenience goes a long way. One of their biggest problems is the lack of ways to stop minors from playing, so security measures like asking for ID proofs have been put in place, for a lot of them.
But as I was saying, online casinos really took the world by surprise, and for a couple of years, there was no way governments could analyze them and understand how they should handle them. That’s why, in the beginning, their first step was to ban them and consider them illegal. Now, does that answer the question: “Are online casinos legal?” Probably some years ago, but things have changed dramatically, so let’s dig in further.
What About Now?
As I’ve previously mentioned, online gambling is the act of gambling through the internet, and includes games like poker, casino card games and even sport bets. If you think that we’re talking about a small industry, think again, as the most recent data shows that this market is worth about $40 billion, each year, globally.
Even though many countries have continued with their bans and restrictions on online casinos, some are now realizing the power behind this experience. For example, in some states of the USA, most countries of the EU and even some provinces in Canada, you can gamble online, even though those websites have to go through a lot of requirements and processes in order to earn a license and become legal.
Let’s dig further, regarding the USA. Its legislation was drafted in the 1990’s, and even though it shifted its content radius throughout the years, people were able to easily play online since then. However, the government decided that there shouldn’t be any advertisement for those companies in public places, so, like the tobacco industry, it became a bit of an underground advertisement society. Even though, in the last years, some online casinos were found guilty of crimes, like money laundering, there were also some positive pushes, like PokerStart being finally able to operate, legally, in some states, like New Jersey.
In the Future
I predict that bans and restrictions will disappear more and more, as the years go by, and that online casinos are going to have a boom in their shares and industry (as they are already having). What this means is that there will be much more competition between them, and bonuses and user interface will be the determining factors in success, or failure.
We will surely also see the biggest companies spending large amounts of money in lobby groups to influence decisions in more developing countries, as most still consider online casinos illegal. This will open new, huge markets for them, and there will most certainly appear some friction between local and national governments and those companies due to commission fees. In the end, online casino brands will have to do as they’re told, even though that, with smaller percentages, their share will still be huge.
Regarding physical casinos, in my opinion, they will survive the change of times, as they offer much more than simply gambling. The experience of lights, music, energy and comrady they have will never be replicated in the online world, even though I think they will lose a lot of young clientele, who prefer to stay home and get that 21 by clicking a button.