In Britain gambling online is legal. However, before November 2014, if a gambling site wanted to advertise in Britain, is was required to have a license with a country that adhered to British standards in terms of the prevention of gambling underage, fairness and providing help for gamblers that were problematic. Such countries included Great Britain, the European Union as well as Malta, Alderney, Gibraltar, Barbuda, Antigua and the Isle of Man. In November 2014 the regulation involving online gambling in the UK came onshore.
Britain has a fairly liberal approach to gambling online, compared to many other countries. Certain other countries, Singapore for example, prohibit gambling sites to operate from their shores and attempt to stop people from gambling online. Other countries like Costa Rica, permit remote gambling sites but do not allow citizens to gamble on them.
Deciding the best course of action to take and whether to implement a ban or tax and regulate online gambling, is difficult. We cannot ignore the fact that gambling in any form can create problems, debt, theft and even homelessness being three. Important questions remain, such as does banning gambling intensify the problem, or does legalising it encourage more people to develop unhealthy gambling addictions?
Britain has a long history of banning gambling. For example, in 1906 a ban was made on street gambling in an attempt to give the poor some protection. However, the law was rendered ineffective and gambling continued as it had previously done but with more arrests.
The current online gambling status in the UK whereby all gambling sites have to meet certain standards and requirements regarding fairness, the protection of minors and advocating responsible gambling, does seem to provide people with security and protection.
Imposing a ban on gambling internationally could be carried out through a number of different ways. One method could be to inform people not to do it through means of leaflets sent out to the public, advertisements in the media, etc. However, for the estimated 6 – 8 million people who have some form of a gambling addiction in the United States alone, this method might not be that effective.
Alternatively a nation could prosecute and shut down gambling sites which allow players to gamble from that nation under that country’s own laws. However, this would only work providing the authority of the site recognises that country’s legislation regarding online gambling.
Another alternative could be to place on ban on banks making payments to and from gambling companies. The United States attempted this tactic previously, which proved difficult to sustain due to alternative methods of payments, such as Ukash and Bitcoin.
An attempt could also be made to place a block on people accessing international gambling sites across the world from a device which is located, geographically, to a particular country that is attempting to enforce the ban.
From December 2014 the UK now puts tax on all consumerist gambling, generating an income from the hordes of people using gambling sites throughout the UK.