Does Online Gambling have a Negative Stigma? If So, Why?
The game plan for most of those who lodge an opposition to online gambling on moral grounds is to attach a negative stigma to it. And to be perfectly honest, while the industry has, for the most part, matured, there was still enough bad behavior in the past to put at least a little bit of weight behind those objections. In terms of genuine regulations, and despite licensure in jurisdictions such as Costa Rica, Curacao and Malta, online games don't have a whole lot of formal oversight, and critics do not think that self-regulation, or that which is done by the marketplace, is enough. They would rather push the idea that lack of real oversight opens the door for cheating, and provides little in the way of protection value for the consumer, and that is why government must step in, to either regulate or abolish.
Does online gambling create an easier path to addiction? This would be the claim of the devil's advocate, and perhaps they are not mistaken in the respect that the easy access to the computer, with the fact that the customer does not have to leave the house or make a effort to travel in order to participate, but the argument can be made that if someone has an addiction problem, they will find a way to feed it no matter the circumstances.
A favorite objection on the part of anti-gambling people is that historically, those who can afford to lose the least tend to lose the most, and that, in effect, gambling promoters take unfair advantage of those who are more unfortunate and naive. You will see references to a "regressive tax" because of the claim that the people with the greatest amount of income are paying the most. What these people forget is that buying lottery tickets or playing slot machines is not a regressive "tax" or a tax at all. It is an activity that is voluntary, and one can choose to participate or decline to do so, unlike the income tax system that is in place now.
Thankfully, the negative stigma surrounding gambling, at least as it is peddled by many grandstanding politicians, is being washed away in favor of the need for income, and when it comes down to it, that is "mother's milk" in the moral/political world that tends to trump all others.