Gambling statistics show that 26% of the world’s population gambles. To be clear, 1.6 billion people gamble regularly, and 4.6 billion people gamble at least once per year. A recent study showed that 17% of this population gambles online, yet less than half of the countries worldwide actually allow online gambling to occur. In a culture that thrives on the internet these days, it is backward thinking to prohibit online gambling.
Gambling is one of the quickest growing markets in countries where it is legal. However, it is not legal everywhere. Even in the progressive United States, less than 3/4 of the states have legalized online gambling. Even though online gambling is not legal in all states, the US ranks second in the world in gambling revenues. As more states legalize online gambling, the States can expect to get China off the throne. The number of states where you can’t gamble online is still too high and needs to grow.
How Can a Community Benefit From Legalizing Online Gambling?
Even though less than half of the countries in the world legalize gambling, why do we think everyone really should? It only makes sense. First of all, gambling is here to stay. It has been around since the Paleolithic period or around 3000 BC. In a world where things die off and get left behind, gambling has evolved and transformed to remain relevant. With almost 5 billion active internet users worldwide, moving gambling to the online platform is a natural progression.
Employment Increase and Tax Benefits
In places where online gambling is legal, studies show that there is a decrease in the unemployment rate. Just like traditional casinos, online gambling platforms need workers to keep them up to date and relevant. They usually work from the comfort of their own home instead of a brick-and-mortar building.
In the UK, the entire gambling industry has exploded over the last ten years due to legalized online gambling. In 2020, the UK brought in $2.3 billion in taxes from gambling. Interestingly enough, online gambling makes up 38.8% of that number. It’s also a lot easier to manage compared to the traditional offline sector.
Currently, in the United States, 495 billion dollars are accumulated from gambling from all over the world. If more than five states allowed online gambling, that number would increase. With gambling comes so many positives: gambling fees paid by the sites, property taxes (if there is a home base to the online platform), and income taxes. All of this money goes right back into the economy.
Convenience and Ease of Access
There are a few other issues that online gambling would help with. To begin with, many these days do not have time to go to a traditional casino. With the average workday being over 8 hours, time becomes precious. When you add in family, friends, all sorts of life obligations, and the time necessary to relax, there are not many more hours in a day left for something else. Online gaming would allow those who would like to spend even a few minutes relaxing and playing online games to do so from the luxury of their home.
Secondly, not everyone has access to traditional gambling. Currently, only 44 states in the US offer legalized gambling (commercial, riverboat, or tribal). Making online gambling legal would drastically increase the accessibility to everyone worldwide. And, as stated previously, this brings money to the local economy, as well as jobs and tax relief.
In a year where many people became depressed and were isolated because of the pandemic, online gambling provided a safe way to connect with others, have some fun, improve your mood, and spend some free time relaxing. The amount of money one puts into online gambling doesn’t need to be excessive to create a positive impact on your life. Small stints playing online games can allow you to socialize, reduce stress, and possibly make a little money from the comfort of your home.
The Moral Side of Things
The “morality” of online gambling seems to be a point against legalizing online gambling worldwide. Some people believe this pastime can become a threat to a person’s social and economic wellbeing. That being said, how is online gambling different from alcohol sales? Just as people learn to drink responsibly, online gamblers have learned to play responsibly. In any recreational activity, lines can often get a bit blurred.
However, that does not mean that we should take the opportunity away from everyone. Most who take part in online gambling sites do so legally and responsibly. In addition, most governing bodies have clear rules and regulations surrounding online gambling which address any misconduct, making the newfound business venture safe and secure.
When looking at the worldwide gambling industry revenue by country, it is no surprise that China sits on top of that list with almost 18% of the world’s total population. However, when it comes to online gambling, Canada takes the lead. It is said that 65% of Canadians are involved in this activity. Although such a large percentage of the country partakes in this pastime, they are very responsible gamblers, spending just $460 per person yearly.
Throughout the world, technological advancements are happening daily. The world is continually evolving, and the culture of gambling moves forward along with it. We must establish a basis for safe online gambling and make it legal in countries that currently restrict it. It would drastically decrease any illegal activities associated with gambling in general. More importantly, a booming online gambling culture would bring tax relief, institutional monitoring, and control of these online platforms, along with new jobs. It’s a win-win situation!