Since their introduction to the online space in the mid-90s, online casinos have only been growing. Although land casinos are still undisputed champions of the gambling industry, online casinos have been spreading like wildfire in recent years, becoming the preferred choice of many players. It’s far easier to sit from home and play a game from your laptop then take a trip to the casino. However, although online casinos have been generating billions every year and have a positive impact on our economy, they may be deepening our country’s gambling problem at the same time.
The rise of online casinos has given gamblers an easy way to bet from the comfort of their own home. Gamblers can now find betting strategies online and simply log-in to an online betting site from their laptop or smartphone, enjoying sports betting or casino games without stepping out of the door. Convenient, right? It may be, but the online gambling industry may have been creating thousands of new gamblers in a time when America’s gambling problem has never been worse. Experts are pointing out the fact that gambling is a lot like alcohol – not many Americans are affected by it, but the increased acceptability of gambling (just like drinking) makes more people try it, maximizing our country’s gambling addiction.
In the late 70s, a study conducted by a national commission showed that more than a million Americans are avid gamblers (0.77% of the population), but now, the problem is much worse. Internet gambling is becoming more and more popular among teens as it’s accepted in society and even widely promoted. You can see casino ads nearly anywhere including TV and radio ads as well as billboards. Don’t let us get started on online ads – as soon as you Google anything related to betting, you’ll be swarmed by casino ads. There are gambling temptations around every corner, and teens are attracted to it like a moth to a flame.
However, no one is really doing anything about it. With the rise in revenue, online gambling is being promoted as it’s widely believed to be supporting our country’s economy. With billions of dollars injected into our system every year, politicians are not interested in banning or at least confining online gambling to some degree. It’s safe to say that there are economic benefits of gambling for many communities and the whole country as well, but there are negative sides as well.
Gambling has triggered unexpected social and economic costs in some communities, families, and individuals. These include a high demand for more infrastructure, traffic congestion, and environmental effects as well as an increase in crime and pathological gambling. If you put the negative effects and the economic benefits of online gambling on a scale, we’re pretty sure it’ll be even.
The reality is that the gambling addiction problem may even get worse in the future. With the increasing popularity of online casinos and the increasing projected revenue in the coming years, it’s only a matter of time before we see a full-scale legalization of the business.