For national governments, regulating online gambling is slowly turning from a trend into a necessity.
Currently, players from all over the world participate in online gambling. Some country governments regulate gambling, while others do not. In countries that do not yet have regulation models, online gambling activity goes unrecognized and untaxed by the governments.
The prevailing logic of adapting regulation lies with the fact that in a growing online industry, players in unregulated as well as regulated markets are participating on a widescale already, and are not going to stop.
Brazil and the UK are two of many contemporary historical examples exist of restrictive gambling laws just pushing the funds of a country’s many playing citizens to other markets.
Drivers of Growth
The market is growing because it is cheaper for players and operators alike. Available 24 hours a day, players are spared drive times, and parking, and car usage, and travel time to land-based casinos. Meanwhile, online operators are spared the massive costs of constructing and managing online casinos.
In 2009, the first year of new regulation of online gambling, the size of the global online gambling market was a relatively paltry $24.3 billion. This figure has risen almost 30% to $35.52 in 2015, with projections for 2018 realistically projected at $56 billion, for a rate of growth of over 100% in nine years. That is a lot of taxable revenue, putting the effort of regulating into the billions with a high growth rate for national governments.
The Blocking Question
The only online enforcement recourse for non-regulating governments is to block IP addresses for gambling sites. This shakes out as an against the grain measure investing time and resources in what would be an ongoing battle against ever-more creative providers or adaptive hackers against the grain with no financial gain to be had.
The Addiction Question
The ethical concern over feeding addiction is already being addressed worldwide. Existing regulation models indeed set standards for warnings and offer resources for addiction within the same websites providing the games, demonstrating how addiction can be addressed within regulation policy.
Arguments against online gambling are becoming more and more theoretical, while online play in reality grows unabated in all global regions with cash-strapped governments running out of options for adding revenue.