Saturday, December 30, 2006

The Future of Online Gambling in the US

There will undoubtedly be a percentage of US players who will not be stopped by the ban on online gambling no matter what, but there could be a much larger percentage of players who could or would like to continue playing online. Despite the fact that that online gambling itself, in most cases, does not constitute a criminal act, nevertheless, I do not believe that the vast majority of players fully understand this and the prospect of becoming a “criminal” in order to gamble online is not an option for many, at this point in time. Those who do decide, to hell with Frist’s law, will need to overcome a number of obstacles before they can place a wager online. Firstly, since the IT savvy will realize, that their geographical location can be loosely determined by IP address, they can fool the tracking systems by using numerous anonymizing applications freely available on the market. However, by accessing the online casino by using this method will in all likelihood trigger casino operators anti fraud systems unless the player consistently connects via the same proxy or the casino operator agrees and understands that the player is hiding his/her geographic footprint.I believe that no online casino operator with a brain in their head, who is located outside the US will simply discard the potential of billions of dollars in earnings without making an attempt to reap in some of the rewards, even be it, in a disguised manner in order to cover their backs. Which brings me to the second obstacle, that the online gambler will need to overcome.
Online gambling Banking Methods. With Netteller being in the middle of this mess, the biggest and the most obvious target and having therefore having to withdraw their banking services from online gambling, for their own good. It would be advisable for players to move online gambling banking to Click2Pay and PaySpark who would seem to be incapable of, or possibly disinterested in, implementing the costly requirements of the US gambling laws. I have no doubt that with Netteller being oblidged to leave a huge pile of cash on the table, we will be seeing one or two new institutions taking up the slack in the market.The third and biggest problem the determined US online gambler faces is his/her home address. Unless there is a friend, family member, acquaintance or business connection outside the US then, this is going to be the obstacle that trips up the wannabe US gambler. What is probably going to happen in this case is, and I know it sounds far fetched, rogue and probably a can of worms (but maybe not). Something like address-abroad.com. A facilitator and supplier of an address outside the US. Possibly a company owned by the “clean” casino who simply connects the actual address details to the alias avoiding the heat from the US government.Many before The Unlawful Internet Gaming Enforcement Act (UIGEA) was passed, had no inclination whatsoever to find a solution to circumvent any laws, but since Mr. Frist and his cronies seem bent on the creation of felons, this is merely a natural progression in thinking for a vast number of previously law abiding citizens and only a minute example of things to come.
It is a sad day when people create laws to create crime, which the vast majority of law abiding citizens do NOT believe should be constituted as a crime. Thus a new watered down way of thinking about crime is born, that only the eventual abandonment of such a law can remedy. (on this point we may have to wait a while though)
It is just a matter of time before a couple of enterprising minds to mull this thing over or recognize this crime/opportunity paradigm for what it is, and in the not too distant future, we will looking at a 200% increase in the internet gambling industry from where it is now,.
I leave with the words of H.S Thompson.“In a closed society where everybody’s guilty, the only crime is getting caught. In a world of thieves, the only final sin is stupidity.”

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