Gambling Expert Says Online Casino Ban Won’t Help Problem Gambling

Many people who oppose online casino gambling say that online casinos feed the addictions of problem gamblers. They say that people who have issues with spending more money than they can afford to lose in online casinos would not have an issue if online casinos did not exist. However, Carol O’Hare, who is the executive director of the Nevada Council on Problem Gambling, says that a ban on online casinos and Internet gambling is far from the best means of dealing with people with gambling problems.

What does O’Hare recommend for problem gambling? She says that education and treatment is far more effective than banning online casino games. She says, “problem gambling is not going away because somebody puts it in a corner or puts the casino too far out of town so that we won’t drive there or take it off the Internet.” Just as alcoholics managed to find alcohol during the years of prohibition, problem gamblers will find a way to gamble their money whether or not online casinos exist.

O’Hare said that as the years pass, the percentage of people who have gambling issues and addictions continues to remain constant. This takes into consideration statistics before and after the introduction of online casinos. Mental health specialists believe that problem gambling stems from the same roots as other substance abuse issues and these people will manage to find a place to gamble no matter what. What they need is regulation and help.

Many online casinos set limits that allow players to only deposit a certain dollar amount per day, per week or per month. Other casinos allow players to set these limits for themselves. For instance, a player may set a limit for himself of $100 a day on online casino slots. Once this limit has been met, the software will not allow them to bet any more. These limits can be set for all sorts of online casino games including online blackjack, casino craps, roulette, video poker and more. Many online gaming sites, like Rome Casino, also have links to Gamblers Annonymous and other self-help tests, websites and services.

Carol O’Hare’s statements, that a ban on online casinos is not the answer to preventing the spread of problem gambling, came as a blow to supporters of the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA) and others looking to pass a full ban on online gambling. These anti-gambling groups, including churches and religious leaders, have used problem gambling as one of their main arguments against casino gambling on the Internet. In fact, problem gambling is one of the main arguments against legislation for the legalization of online gambling.

There are several bills on the table at the moment that may lead to a boom in the United States online gaming industry. O’Hare’s statements serve to bolster current legislation that is in the works to legalize and regulate online gambling and online casinos in the United States.

Internet Gambling Monopoly Justified By European Court

The European Court of Justice has ruled that a country has the power to restrict private operators from entering the sphere of online casino gaming and Internet gambling, in a decision that came as a shock to many. The decision, which declared that private operators can be banned from the online casino and gambling arena in order to protect and safeguard the interests of a country’s citizens, gave direct justification for the upholding of the current online gambling and lottery monopoly in Portugal.

The case that was brought to court was not connected to online casino gambling directly. However, the repercussions could have a strong effect on the way the online casino industry is run in Europe. The case related to a dispute between Austrian online casino giant bwin and the gambling and lottery monopoly in Portugal. Liga, a Portuguese soccer club, is sponsored by bwin and so bwin’s online casino advertisements were placed on the uniforms of Liga players, as well as on Liga’s websites. The Portuguese charity that held monopoly rights to online casino gambling and the lottery accused bwin of infringing upon their space and their position as a monopoly and, therefore, fined bwin as well as Liga.

Furthermore, the case was brought to the highest court in Europe, the European Court of Justice, who ruled that the government has the right to bar foreign online casino operators in order to combat fraud and other unsafe practices. In the case of bwin vs. Portugal’s gambling monopoly, the court ruled that this ruling applied because, in the court’s opinion, gambling involves a high risk of fraud, criminal behavior and unsafe practices. It should be noted that bwin is a highly reputable online casino gaming group that puts security in high regard and has said that commercial casino operators can combat fraud on their own as well—not only governments. However the court disagreed and, in short, gave permission to Portugal to maintain their government monopoly on online casino games and lottery and get bwin out of the picture.

This news is a surprise, especially in light of recent efforts across Europe to move away from monopolies in the online casino and gambling industry. For instance, Denmark just passed legislation in order to dissipate the Danish monopoly Dansk Spil and allow other online casino operators to compete. Other countries all around Europe and the rest of the world have been in the process of passing new legislation to regulate the online casino industry and find means of allowing offshore casino operators to enter the equation. With these new developments, who knows what will happen. Perhaps Dansk Spil will try to regain their monopoly and other countries around Europe and the world will put a halt on their online casino regulation legislation. What effect will this have on the online casino industry? All we can do is wait and see.