The Internet As a Catalyst for Offshore Gambling
The popularity of offshore gambling has skyrocketed to amazing heights thanks to the incredible opportunities given to not only gamblers but also betting houses. The concept of offshore gambling is a relatively new one. It’s history started in the 1990s when Antigua, or Bermuda, decided to make Internet-based gambling legal to its citizens and people outside the country. Due to this Caribbean island’s ruling, gamblers in the United States rushed to offshore gambling as a way to escape the United State’s unwavering goal of making online betting illegal.
The United States claimed that the government of the Caribbean was exporting betting business to the United States. Although the United States felt, and still feels, that gambling causes a domino effect of problems, the World Trade Organization, or WTO, ruled in favor of Antigua’s government on November 10, 2004. The WTO’s ruling stated that the United States government acted against the General Agreement in Trade and Services, or GATS.
Widespread offshore gambling has been made possible thanks to the Internet being easily accessible throughout the United States. The online world has given gamblers unprecedented opportunities to place wagers and win money. Because online gambling can be conducted even if a country’s laws prohibit the practice, offshore gambling is extremely lucrative. Currently, the offshore gambling industry has netted profits of approximately $300 billion; however, only $20 billion of this total has been made legally.
Mobile phones, Tablet PCs and other technological inventions also contribute to the promotion of offshore gambling. As opposed to land-based gambling, offshore betting can be done virtually anywhere by almost anyone of legal age. And conventional methods of gambling force bettors to be physically present at a particular location. With online and offshore gambling, players can gamble in almost any country around the world, not just the United States.
However, certain licensing procedures have caused some confusion and aggravation among online offshore casinos. Any gambling company can obtain the necessary licensure in one country. But they can place their server in a different country while serving customers scattered among a variety of countries. So although the United States government actively promotes an anti-online gambling initiative, they continually come across difficulties putting it into motion.
The array of regulations and legalities make it nearly impossible for the governments in most countries to limit, control or ban offshore gambling. Therefore, experts predict that this already-enormous industry will continue to grow in profits, and its customer-base, throughout the decade.