Believe it or not, as of now, 85 countries worldwide have legalized Online gambling. Only a little while ago it was estimated that it was a $35 billion US dollar industry. When you look state side, you can find as diverse takes on gambling as you have regions and state. Since the U.S. is a huge market with 51 jurisdictions, each one considers carefully how or if it will legalize online poker for their constituents, and if they should vote to have legalized on a national level. The debates continues to get more heated in many state governments, with some leading the way (Florida and California). Poker, along with other forms of online betting face opposition from different sectors of the US society.
One of these sectors is of course the religious sector, which in many parts of the world has been a fervent opponent to gambling of all types, including online. They try to affect change by lobbying politicians on behalf of their congregations to halt gambling, but many consider this an archaic form of regulation, like the prohibition – most western countries want the choice available to them if they decide to gamble. Australia is one of these nations that has experienced political upheaval over issues of online gambling liberalization. The States, in it’s Bible belt region also in experiences movements that are opposed to online gambling which are based in moral reasoning.
Overall, North American culture is quite diverse when it comes to attitudes toward online gambling. In some places these attitudes are reflected in the laws of that particular state. Utah is one example of a state that embraces one of the strictest attitudes and policies toward gambling. Any type of betting or gambling of any sort is prohibited. This can be accredited to the high Mormon population that holds votes in the region. Comparing to other states, it’s much easier to imagine online gambling regulations being legalized elsewhere where religion does not affect policy so greatly.
Hard to believe, since this state is considered a haven for pleasure and relaxation but there are only two states in the U.S that don’t allow any type of regulated gambling, and that other state is Hawaii. In 2012, they passed a law that updated state statutes to more strictly address online gambling issues.
Mobile internet betting is bringing a whole new angle to the online gambling debate. Easier and more immediate access to internet betting is causing major concern for opponents. The technology is growing so fast and has overwhelmed the endeavours of opposition due to online betting’s global popularity. Recently betting sites have caught some heat from governments over the aggressive advertising they put out, or for the amount of sports sponsorships they have bought. Their influence is growing fast, and it’s putting the gambling debate at the forefront of societal, sports and legal discussions.
Yet, despite the different types of resistence they face, online gambling and betting continues to grow exponentially and giving people the choice ultimately will be the only way to integrate an already powerful industry into mainstream society