Special: US Online Gambling Myths DebunkedPublished December 10, 2015 by Elana K
Opponents of online gambling regulation in the USA often quote myth as fact; here are some of the biggest myths about online gambling, and how they are not true.
Online gambling is a hot topic right now, with many US states looking towards regulating it and a federal bill that, at the same time, seeks to ban it. With all the hoopla surrounding online gambling, there has ended up being some confusion about what is myth and what is fact.
A new web memo published at Competitive Enterprise Institute endeavored to separate fact from fiction. They pointed out that the main myth about online gambling is that it leads to crime and money laundering. But really, that couldn’t be farther from the truth.
Below is a list of some of the most popular myths masquerading as facts - and why they are, in fact, just plain wrong.
Myth #1: Online Gambling Leads to Crime and Money Laundering
As of now, there are two online gambling markets for American players: A very small one in the United States, which consists of only three states, and an offshore, illegal gambling market, where many Americans play for lack of legal American sites. Regulating online gambling will not lead to crime; in fact, crime is much more likely to happen on illegal sites, which are not regulated and where consumers are not protected.
In fact, the only places that consumers are protected is on regulated online gambling sites. Here’s why:
- Depositing and withdrawing large sums of money at online casinos requires compliance with the Bank Secrecy Act and the USA Patriot Act - two of the most powerful anti-money laundering tools today. Compliance with these acts, however, is not required for offshore online gambling sites.
- Player-to-player money transfers are illegal in regulated online casinos, which is another way that money laundering is prevented.
- In regulated online casinos, players are strictly limited by their locations. All three states that have thus far legalized online gambling - Nevada, New Jersey and Delaware - use the most sophisticated geolocation technology that simply blocks anyone not located within state boundaries. This is yet another way that regulated gambling protects players and prevents money-laundering.
Myth #2: Online Gambling Won’t Bring in Any Revenue
While all beginnings are difficult and the revenue of online gambling might not be as large as what was originally projected (for the three states that have legalized it), the industry is still generating revenue. And there is more for the taking, if online gambling is regulated.
The fact is, between 2003 and 2010, Americans spent a staggering $30 billion on offshore and overseas gambling websites. If online gambling were regulated in the States, that money could be going into national coffers.
Myth #3: Online Gambling Will Lead to Underage Gambling
The technology used by regulated online gambling sites is far superior to the security at brick-and-mortar casinos. At online casinos, players must submit to a "Know Your Customer" check, which includes names being run through a licensed third-party or government database. This effectively shuts down underage gambling. (By the way, in New Jersey, players with criminal convictions are not allowed to play at all at online casinos - another way money-laundering is prevented!)
Myth #4: Online Gambling Will Lead to Gambling Addiction
Online gambling is no more addictive than gambling that takes place at brick-and-mortar casinos. For those who say that online gambling will create a casino on every phone and thus make gambling addiction more prevalent, we refer them to the numbers in Myth #3 - $30 billion spent on gambling sites in 7 years. Americans are gambling no matter what - and prohibiting gambling is not going to stop them. And if they are gambling anyway, you might as well give them a safe platform to play on - one that has the technology to spot addictive behaviors and to offer resources for help.
Americans Want to Play Too
As the situation stands now, millions of players outside of the United States play at totally safe and legitimate online casinos like Tivoli Casino, Real Deal Bet Casino and PlayFrank Casino. There is no reason why Americans shouldn’t be able to do the same.