Gambling is a term that refers to the act of placing of cash or any other thing that may have a commercial value so that after a given set of events you may have the chance or probability of winning extra cash or even lead to the multiplication of the goods that you placed as a bet. Therefore, internet gambling refers to the process of doing gambling over the internet and it can be done in many different ways and mediums. There have been a lot of heated debates as to whether online gambling should be made illegal or whether it should be limited only to some licensed casinos as depicted in the house bill 1235 that was supported by Representative Tina Davis in the state of Pennsylvania. The aim of this research paper is to support the house bill HB 2052 sponsored by Representative Mario Scavello that is aimed at making it illegal for individuals to engage in online gambling (Banks 23).
Online gambling can also be referred to as internet gambling and it came up as a result of an act that was supported by Antigua which is found in the Caribbean. Following the passing of this act, investors in the gambling industry were given the go-ahead to apply for licenses which would enable them to run internet gambling. After this bill was passed a lot of companies specializing in the development of software took the liberty of developing various applications and software that were later to become very fundamental in the gaming industry with the major company being Microgaming.
Just like technology is dynamic, online gambling keeps changing and it, therefore, can be exhibited differently: casinos, poker, and even lotteries. There was tremendous growth in the number of companies that showed interest in the gambling industry, an act that saw the returns generated to the state just from online gambling shoot up tremendously as was reported by the commissioner of the gambling commission of the United Kingdom. This saw the UK come up with a mechanism to regulate the casinos which were started because major investors were now concentrating on this industry at the expense of other service sectors (Banks 16).
Another form is usually in online casinos, here normally there are interfaces that are in the form of online sites, which usually enable gamblers to not only make bets but also participate in the process of playing against other opponents who may also be interested in trying their lucky chance to make a win online. This is usually carried out virtually and also sometimes it can be carried remotely. One major drawback with these games is that the owners of the casinos usually collaborate with the developers of the gaming software so as to configure the software in such a way that the computer will always win more times against the opponent, a move that always places the operators of the casino at the winning side when it comes to revenue collection. Hence, in almost all situations, the operators will make more money than they give away to the players. There is enough evidence to show that people who often engage in online gambling have a high chance of falling victims to gambling addiction; a condition that has found to be a serious problem just like alcohol addiction because once you fall, victim, it will be almost impossible to get out of the habit. One thing that is worth remembering is that usually when making bets, electronic money, e.g. in the form of credit cards are used, this is also harmful because it can lead to individuals getting into huge debts due to the tempting nature of online games as a person will always place a bet with the hope of making a huge kill (Morse 33).
There are various schools of thought regarding online gambling, some are in support of it while others are against it. Various states have different policies regarding internet gambling, In Pennsylvania for instance, individuals with genuine licenses are allowed to carry out legal internet gambling. But in some other states like Washington, it is an offense to carry out the act and the consequences are so severe in terms of the business owners being subjected to huge fines. But it is also crucial that we look at the other side of the coin which comes with its fair share of vices. It is based on the following problems I discuss below that I would like to vote against internet gambling.
We all know that children are the pride of our nation, and we must all mentor them and protect them from activities like gambling because they can have a negative impact on their development to be all around. In a recent study carried out in Pennsylvania, it showed that children who gambled confessed that they had been introduced by friends, siblings who gambled or even others trying out of curiosity after seeing their parents who they consider as role models participate in the act. It also revealed that children who had access to the internet could easily visit online gambling websites from the comfort of their couch (Morse 99). Teenagers were found to be big fans of gambling games like racing. This was a result of the presence of various gambling sites that usually have very flashy interfaces that usually attract teenagers.
Some may argue that it is alright for children to engage in internet gambling seldom, for instance, after returning from school as a way of refreshing their tired minds. That should not be the case because that can gradually begin to cultivate the culture of poor performance while in school, trying out on alcohol and smoking and even losing some of their friends who are not into gambling (Morse 38).
Another problem with gambling is that it is very difficult to detect and stop problem gamblers online. This is usually an act that makes any individual ignore his daily plans and activities so as to engage in gambling. An example is a person who ignores his family’s needs e.g. food clothing and shelter. Problem gambling has been defined as any gambling practice that will interfere with the normal running of your day to day activities. Therefore, if you are the kind of person who gambles at the expense of working or doing any important economic activity then you are a victim of a gambling problem (Cary 113).
The truth of the matter is that gambling as a practice has enormous impacts on the development of a human being as a whole, and based on this, appropriate measures should be put in place to ensure that addictions resulting from online gambling practices are stopped. The negative effects of problem gambling are that it can have a huge blow on your love life, your daily work or even bring in a huge financial crisis. Although there are various machines that have been used over the past years to screen the effects of internet problem gambling, these tools have proved to be ineffective in this era of online gambling because of the dynamic nature of technology resulting in the development of sophisticated gambling applications (Cary 72). Although screening tools exist, they may be inadequate to handle the problem of internet gambling which are dynamic and are manifested in various forms (Rueben 29).
There is also the other problem that criminals use online gambling as a way to hide illegally gotten funds. Due to the increasing number of illicit businesses, the criminals often find a way to launder these funds so as not to raise suspicion on the sources of these huge amounts. This saw the agents who investigate crimes in finances in Las Vegas begin to partner with the employees and the management of casinos so that in the event that an individual came to the casino with huge chunks of money, they report this suspicious person. Casinos that did not report these suspicious would later be subjected to huge civil fines amounting to $25,000 per the given day they failed to put in place mechanisms that help to curb money laundering (Angelo 66).
The fourth problem that will manifest itself is that Internet gambling will reduce jobs in the Commonwealth. In certain research that was done by a professor called Robert Goodman, he showcased that income-generating activities like boutique business, entertainment joints like parks, automobile sales, and even supermarkets, exhibited a notable decline in their annual sales. In his research, he included the work of Timothy Ryan who was a renowned economist who had also found out that an online gambling station in a state in the USA would help direct a huge amount of money from several businesses with the exception of hotels. He pointed out categorically that the city of Atlantic, the rate of street families shot up drastically after the emergence of gambling sites. Consequently, other businesses e.g. boutiques and supermarkets went down in terms of sales. His research also concluded that insecurity grew after the introduction of casinos. Therefore, the above research is enough evidence that engaging in gambling makes the state lose a lot of money annually because of the negative impact it poses to those businesses that are currently in operation (Banks 61).
Having looked at the above research paper, I believe you have realized that although online gambling has its benefits, the problems and consequences that come with it are more severe than the benefits. So it is important for us to look at the big picture regarding the overall welfare of our children and the ethical issues that must be upheld by our community at large. It is based on this that I am in support of the house bill HB 2052 Sponsored by Representative Mario Scavello that is legislation designed to make it illegal for individuals to engage in online gambling.