Continuing from our earlier blog on “The Politics of Online Gambling”, we’re going to take a look at some of the common arguments that online gambling opponents use to "win" the debate. But, we aren’t just going to stop with looking at those arguments. We’re all going to point out the holes in them.
Argument 1: Online Gambling Encourages Under-Age Participation
This isn’t the opposition’s most commonly used weapon. However, it does pop up once in a while. So, what’s the problem with this argument? Well, there is no such thing as a foolproof solution to any problem. There are always going to be exceptions.
So, saying that banning online gambling will prevent under-age participation is foolish. It’s what we discussed last time. Blanket bans don’t work and those who want to break the rules will break the rules. In fact, even with no-online gambling, there have been cases of under-age individuals accessing gaming services.
For example, The SugarHouse Casino in Philly had to recently pay a $10,000 fine after it was found that a 19-year old had managed to gamble at one of their slot machines. Mind you, this happened a month before Pennsylvania legalized online gambling. Plus, the incident happened in a real-world casino.
Minors constantly break the laws. We’ve seen enough cases of minors accessing everything from narcotics to even guns. In fact, some of us have probably broken a law or two as minors. But, here’s the thing – online gambling is much harder to access than a pack of cigarettes or alcohol. Several control & verification measures would be put in place to minimize underage participation. On the contrary, black market gambling sites have none, which means anybody and access them and since they already operate outside the confines of the law, they aren’t regulated.
Argument 2: Online Gambling As An Avenue For Criminal Activity Such As Money Laundering
This is one of the stronger arguments that the opposition brings up. On the surface, it might seem to make sense. However, a closer look will tell you that the argument has plenty of holes. Anonymity is what the opposition anchors its argument on. They say that the anonymity that comes with the internet makes it much easier for criminals to use online gambling sites as an avenue for cleaning up their ill-gotten gains.
Well, it is true if you’re talking about unregulated or black-market gambling sites. But, the moment you legalize something, it falls under the purview of government regulation. So, authorized gambling sites will require participants to provide verifiable identification and go through several other processes as part of the registration.
Plus, there will be a limit to how much a player can deposit, which means nobody is going to be able to move around a few million bucks.
Lastly, in the online world, everything leaves a mark and is traceable. In fact, it’s easier to launder money through a real-world casino.
These are just a couple of the arguments we’ve debunked for now. We’ll be coming back with more on our next blog.