Place Your Bets: Online Gambling is About to Go Mainstream

By Steve Anderson August 17, 2015

Online gambling is at once thrilling and terrifying, almost like bungee jumping into a volcano, only less hot (and generally less life-threatening). The idea that gambling is available right from a user's own home is exciting, but the various laws that circulate around online gambling that seem to change from state to state—and in some cases aren't even all that clear—are scary. That said, a new report from Juniper Research suggests that gambling is about to go more mainstream than ever before.

The Juniper Research study—titled “Mobile and Online Gambling: Casinos, Lotteries & Betting 2015 – 2020”—suggests that by 2019, nearly 10 percent of the adult population of the planet will have gambled online or on a mobile device. The biggest concentration of said gambling adults, meanwhile, will come from the U.K. and Italy, though the United States will start to chip in a healthy portion as a variety of newly-licensed services come into play.

Indeed, the study notes, there have already been some significant gains as companies in New Jersey and Delaware—and of course Nevada—have seen substantial boosts in revenues just over the last two years. While there are still plenty of forces opposing the expansion of brick-and-mortar casino gaming, offshore services like TopBet are still claiming a hefty share of traffic. The Juniper Research study uses that as the basis to suggest that more states will step in to bring more legalized gambling into play as a way to bolster sagging tax revenue pictures.

Image via Shutterstock

However, that same race to greater taxes may pose a bigger problem. The European Union's latest move on anti-money laundering (AML) policies is offering some value in making gambling policies more universal, but is also putting a substantial burden on potential entrants into the field. Germany, for example, lost both Playtech and Mansion, while Portugal's new tax rates on sports betting sent William Hill packing. Higher taxes, as noted by the report's co-author Dr. Windsor Holden, will simply result in “...an exodus of major players with customers switching to unlicensed operators.”

More specifically, this is going to be a problem for a lot of places. Those same forces that are opposed to brick-and-mortar casino operations will likely be just as opposed to online casino ventures for much the same reasons; problem gambling has been an issue ever since gambling came into existence. Those stories of irresponsible people betting have a way of haunting pro-gambling governments, and nothing hurts a re-election campaign like doe-eyed waifs staring at a camera and saying “Daddy takes our lunch money because he needs to play the ponies.”

But there's no doubt that the tax base is not what it once was, and online gambling could help shore up some badly-needed infrastructure projects. Could an evening of poker pay for crumbling roads and bridges? It could, certainly; the sheer amount of traffic going online to bet could be moved to legal, local sources. Certainly HTML5 has been a huge help in making gambling safer and more accessible. 

Online gambling has some great potential as a revenue generator, providing an entertainment service to those interested. But it also has potential for misuse, overuse, and generally destructive ends. That makes online gambling a tool as powerful as it is dangerous, and one that needs to be used carefully.




Edited by Dominick Sorrentino

Contributing TechZone360 Writer

SHARE THIS ARTICLE
Related Articles

Mist Applies AI to Improve Wi-Fi

By: Paula Bernier    11/9/2017

Mist has created an AI-driven wireless platform that puts the user and his or mobile device at the heart of the wireless network. Combining machine le…

Read More

International Tech Innovation Growing, Says Consumer Technology Association

By: Doug Mohney    11/8/2017

The Consumer Technology Association (CTA) is best known for the world's largest trade event, but the organization's reach is growing far beyond the CE…

Read More

Broadcom Makes Unsolicited $130B Bid for Qualcomm

By: Paula Bernier    11/6/2017

In what could result in the biggest tech deal in history, semiconductor company Broadcom has made an offer to buy Qualcomm for a whopping $130 billion…

Read More

How Google's 'Moonshot' Could Benefit Industrial Markets

By: Kayla Matthews    10/30/2017

The term "moonshot" encapsulates the spirit of technological achievement: an accomplishment so ambitious, so improbable, that it's equivalent to sendi…

Read More

After Cisco/Broadsoft, Who's Next for M&A?

By: Doug Mohney    10/27/2017

Cisco's trail of acquisition tears over the decades includes the Flip video camera, Cerent, Scientific Atlantic, Linksys, and a couple of others. The …

Read More