Internet gambling appeared only some decades ago but it has evolved into a well-established $200 billion industry. Importantly, this type of gambling is not confined to certain area or country but it is spread globally. It is noteworthy that gamblers still prefer going to casinos but the rate of online gamblers is increasing quite rapidly (Manzin & Biloslavo, 2008). Approximately 450 wagering sites offer such kind of entertainment. The spread of online gambling can be easily explained by its high accessibility.
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Some researchers note that Internet gambling is another form of recreation and it can exist. They also note that it should be strictly regulated to ensure proper taxation and security for all stakeholders involved (Pontell, Geis & Brown, 2007). However, it is necessary to remember that apart from obvious issues with gambling (for example, addiction), it is also associated with higher crime rates and it is inevitable that online gambling will fuel an increase of crime rates nationwide as well as globally. It is possible to consider major issues associated with Internet gambling to consider the best options for the future of the industry.
One of primary issues associated with Internet gambling is its impact on people (especially youth). Internet gambling is easily accessible and researchers note that there is an increase in addicts (Manzin & Biloslavo, 2008). People do not even go out of their homes or even can gamble in their offices. Such option as auto-play (which enables people to automatically bet without their presence) leads to further spread of this kind of gambling. This accessibility leads to numerous financial gains as well as losses and even bankruptcy that are often associated with suicides and different crimes.
Apart from personal issues, gambling (including online gambling) leads to the increase in crime rates. Denning and Yearwood (2011) report that crime rate is higher in neighborhoods with Internet cafes where online gamblers often place bets. It has been estimated that almost 55% of online crimes took place in Internet cafes compared with almost 31% of crimes that occurred in offenders’ households.
The most common crime associated with gambling is larceny, which can be explained by the fact that gamblers often lose big sums of money and have no way out and stealing money or property. Gambling is also associated with substance abuse, which, in its turn, also leads to violent crimes. Finally, online gamblers hardly pay taxes and it is difficult to locate an offender due to peculiarities of the cyber space.
It is necessary to note that gamblers are not the only offenders, as they often become victims of cyber criminals. For instance, Ransom Trojan is malware that blocks the system and makes people pay for unlocking it (Stair & Reynolds, 2009). Cybercriminals often elicit personal information including card numbers and withdraw money from gamblers’ accounts. It is noteworthy that gambling is also associated with money laundering and large funds are often located in offshore accounts (Alexander, 2008). Clearly, such serious crimes have to be dealt with effectively.
Notably, Internet gambling brings to the fore such issues as taxation and federal enforcement. It is clear that Internet gambling exists and there is a need to respond to challenges associated with it. Many researchers and officials concentrate on the need to impose tax regulations that would be strict (Denning & Yearwood, 2011). Federal (as well as state) budget loses significant funds that could be used to develop such spheres as education, healthcare and so on. As has been mentioned above money is transferred to offshore accounts and the country loses a lot. The IRS is trying to respond to these issues and collect taxes. Gamblers often have to pay significant sums of taxes and fines for trying to escape from paying taxes. This also leads to crime (as people try to find money to pay), suicide or imprisonment.
In conclusion, it is possible to note that Internet gambling is associated with numerous issues that often destroy people’s lives and negatively affect development of the US economy. One of major issues is accessibility of the Internet gambling. It is very addictive and young people often become victims of this online recreation as many people call it. Internet gambling is associated with numerous crimes and it is difficult to prevent or detect many of them.
The government is trying to develop proper laws to restrict Internet gambling and introduce taxation so that the country could get a part of the money involved in the industry. However, it is clear that they are not doing enough. It is also obvious that no measures can be enough as cities where gambling is not prohibited can be regarded as a bright example of what is happening to a society exposed to gambling. The best way to solve the issue is to ban Internet gambling and develop effective measures to prevent people from entering such unlawful activities. This will save youth form addiction and will enable them to focus on their development rather than gambling.
Alexander, G. (2008). The U.S. on tilt: Why the unlawful internet gambling enforcement act is a bad bet. Duke Law & Technology Review, 5. Web.
Denning, C., & Yearwood, D.L. (2011). No coffee or latté at this café: Internet gambling establishments, law enforcement perceptions, and management issues. Professional Issues in Criminal Justice, 6(1&2), 9-28.
Manzin, M., & Biloslavo, R. (2008). Online gambling: Today’s possibilities and tomorrow’s opportunities. Managing Global Transitions, 6(1), 95-110.
Pontell, H.N., Geis, G., Brown, G.C. (2007). Offshore Internet gambling and the world trade organization: Is it criminal behavior or a commodity? International Journal of Cyber Criminology, 1(1), 119-136.
Stair, R., & Reynolds, G. (2009). Principles of information systems. Boston, MA: Cengage Learning.