As online gambling continues to grow in popularity worldwide, there are still numerous governments out there who are hesitant to legalize and regulate gambling in their regions. These days, the online gambling market is one of the most lucrative industries across various continents. There are a number of European online casinos that are acquiring new users every single day. The sheer popularity of casino games like online slots, poker, baccarat, and blackjack is continually rising with no end in sight. Despite that, online gambling still isn’t legal in many parts of the world. So many internet consumers are barred from participating in any kind of online gambling or betting activity. But as the industry continues to grow in influence and economic success, it begs to ask the question of whether governments should start regulating gambling activities in their regions.
A Rising Economic Force
Experts are predicting that the online gambling market could reach a market value of around USD 172 billion globally by the year 2030. That marks a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 11.6% over the next eight years. The sector has been experiencing unprecedented growth over the past 20 years along with the growth of the internet and digital products. More people nowadays are just more comfortable with the idea of spending money on goods and services online, gambling included.
Looking at e-commerce platforms like Amazon, it’s easy to see that there is a shift in consumer behavior. In the past, people would mostly prefer to visit brick-and-mortar locations to buy food, clothes, accessories, and tech. However, these days, people are using platforms like Amazon to have these products and goods delivered straight into their homes. It’s the same with service-oriented platforms as well. Ride-sharing apps like Uber and couchsurfing platforms like AirBNB have proven to have incredibly successful business models in the digital world. Consumers are now more likely to spend their money on the internet than ever before.
This trend was further accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic that forced many people to stay at home and for various establishments to close down their doors to the general public. As traditional casinos were forced to temporarily shut down their services, many avid gamblers sought the convenience and comfort of online casino platforms in order to play their favorite gambling games. Aside from that, mobile and network technology have grown so substantially that access to these kinds of gambling websites is at an all-time high.
How Can a State Benefit?
Given that it’s a supercharged economic sector, there’s a bigger incentive for governments to look into the idea of regulating gambling activities in their regions. For example, in places like the United States and Canada, gambling activities are largely overseen and managed by tribal states. The economic gains that they get from online gambling activities allow them to further develop their communities, serve their constituents, and uphold their cultural values.
In other parts of the globe, the funds that are earned through gambling fees and taxes are used to grow marginalized sectors of the community. For example, many European countries make use of gambling revenues to develop sports and livelihood programs for underserved communities. In Asian markets, governments make use of these gambling revenues to aid in charitable pursuits and organizations.
Of course, one must also take into consideration the employment benefits of the gambling industry. With a sector as lucrative as gambling, the industry requires a lot of manpower, which means that there are more job opportunities within regions that offer gambling as a legitimate service. Within the online gambling realm, there are job opportunities for software developers, web developers, customer service specialists, dealers, advertisers, marketing agencies, and more. It’s not just the gambling industry in itself that experiences a boost from regulation. Other micro industries also stand to benefit from legalizing the practice.
While gambling may not necessarily get to a point wherein it becomes legal in all parts of the globe, an argument can be made that the world is gradually shifting in that direction. It’s becoming increasingly difficult for governments to ignore the potential economic benefits that come with regulating gambling activities. At this point, it’s a matter of when not if.