We are back again with Part II of “Debunking Anti-Online Gambling Arguments”. In this continuation of our previous, blog, we’ll be looking at two more key arguments that the anti-online gambling crew utilizes.
Argument 3: Online gambling will lead to more problem gambling.
A simple Google search on the topic of problem gambling will lead you to several studies on the issue. However, there is very little empirical evidence to support the idea that online gambling legalization will lead to an increase in the current problem gambling rates.
In fact, a cursory look at the statistics will tell you that problem gambling figures have remained more or less the same since the launch of online gambling sites. In fact, as we stated earlier, once online gambling becomes legal, the level of stringent regulation over it will make it very hard for problem gambling rates to go up.
This is exactly why even the NCPG (National Council on Problem Gambling) refuses to stand against online gambling legalization and prefers to take a neutral stance. Keith Whyte, the Executive Director of the NCPG, has even gone on to state that online gambling sites have better abilities with regard to problem gambling detection than land-based casinos.
The NCPG has also made it clear that it is more concerned with unregulated, illegal gambling sites that have no measures in place to prevent problem gamblers from participating.
The facts with regards to this argument are clear – regulated online gambling allows for better monitoring of self-exclusion lists. For example, in New Jersey, if gamblers add their names to a self-exclusion list, that list is updated for every gambling site. In fact, these sites can’t even market their offerings to those on the list.
The bottom line is that online gambling legalization is actually helpful in preventing problem gambling rates from going up.Otherwise, problem gamblers are always going to have illegal alternatives.
Argument 4: Land-based casinos will be threatened
The final and weakest weapon in the opposition’s arsenal is the argument that online gambling is a threat to land-based casinos. This couldn’t be more false. On the contrary, land-based casinos can leverage online gambling towards catering to a completely new demographic, thereby increasing their customer base.
In fact, there is research to support this. In a study called “Consumer Spending in the Gaming Industry: Evidence of Complementary Demand in Casino and Online Venues”, it was found that legal online gambling actually opens up new revenue channels and even boosts revenue for existing products that compliment it.
Plus, the real cannibalization doesn’t occur as a result of legal online casinos; it comes from unregulated, offshore gambling sites. By allowing land-based operators to offer their own online services, this can be prevented.