Can Internet Gambling be banned?
USA is one of the few countries were you cannot legally set up an Internet Casino. It is no secret that what is at stake is the protection of land casinos. Casinos in the US have become the cornucopia of wealth for the few who can set them up and for the areas where they can be set up. Today, the world is a global village. The Internet has created a super communication highway for all. Internet casinos may not be available on US soil but they are available on the internet.
According to BettingRevue.com, most of the internet gambling money comes from the US. So who are we deceiving here? Maybe when gambling is used with "internet" it does not conjure the necessary connotations to the uninitiated. So let’s use it with the word "virtual". Let us say virtual gambling.
The word virtual is now commonly used in the computing world as an adjective to refer to objects that are not physically real but mimic the real thing. Examples include such phrases like “virtual memory”, “virtual photons” and “virtual reality”. The word virtual is also used to describe effects or essence that are not formally admitted or recognized such as “virtual dictator”. Internet gambling however is real enough but it occurs in the networked communication space that we have all come to embrace. The Webster English dictionary defines virtual reality as: An artificial environment which is experienced through sensory stimuli (as sights and sounds) provided by a computer and in which one's actions partially determine what happens in the environment. Virtual gambling would then be used in the same sense as virtual reality since the environment is provided by computers and all that happens in this environment is experienced through sensory stimuli and you experience gambling as if you are right there in the casino or poker room although you may actually be in your bedroom millions of miles away from the computers of the casino providing you the environment. This approach was suggested recently by the staff of BettingRevue.com. Virtual gambling does not happen on the internet alone. It can be on your own computer or a dedicated machine that provides you the same type of environment that you would have in a “brick and mortar” casino.
Internet or online gambling is therefore part of virtual gambling. Today, you can easily sell your unwanted stuff on the Internet to strangers millions of miles away. We are only at the tip of the iceberg. The Internet and its effect on our daily experiences are only going to increase. Virtual gambling is part of that experience and it is only going to increase. People today are getting more involved in virtual gambling. Virtual gambling has opened gambling to a host of people who otherwise may not have experienced the thrills and agony of gambling. Virtual gambling does not have to involve real money. It is easier today to have a party were virtual gambling is a key draw – no gambling tables, bankers or human dealers. Everything taken care off by computers.
Herein lays one of the problems of virtual gambling - the element of cheating. In the computer world, it is “GIGO”. GIGO stands for Garbage In, Garbage Out. The programming of the computer determines how it behaves. The Internet gambling world is therefore a minefield. Before you play, you need to know that the computer is not cheating. You need to know about who is providing the software, running the software and keep track of payouts from the machines. Virtual gambling is only going to grow. Gamblers do not have to play games available in a particular casino but have access to other casinos with the click of a button. This dimension of choice is going to be the biggest impetus for growth.
Coca-Cola grew because they went every where, marching through the world with American soldiers. Coca-Cola made famous the key ingredient to marketing – Give the consumers what they want the way they want it and when they want it. Virtual gambling does that. Gambling consumers can gamble on what ever game they want when they want it 24-7 and where they want it. Gamblers are not even hampered by governmental regulations. The best a government can do is to try and make it safe for players. Governments that think they can ban it are only displaying their ignorance of the word “virtual”.
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