The Social and Economic Impacts of Online Gambling
There is no question that online gambling is a controversial topic, wherever it goes. And it is going to leave a certain impact, whether it is from the social or economic perspective. So it worth exploring both.
The social impacts are based in perception and opinion. What is the perception? Well, for one thing, opponents of online gambling would like to suggest that there is a social cost to be incurred with an increased chance of addiction on the part of the customer. And this has even spilled over to activity on the part of proponents. For example, some of the legislation that has been introduced to permit online gambling has included built-in safeguards for so-called "problem gamblers" in the form of limits. Of course, there are privacy issues involved in this, and that has been a sticking point. But the issues do not stop there. There is also the question of safeguarding against minors who can easily access a computer and a credit card and begin to play; something the industry has certainly tried its best to address.
The potential economic impact of online gambling is being seen by many states, at least within the U.S. Like lotteries and land-based casinos before it, this is viewed as a possible source of income, helping to balance the budgets of over-spending governments. Online gambling would be the "next wave" of gaming revenue that can be generated. Since lawmakers see that those with moral objections are in the minority, they envision the green light and are moving ahead with plans. States that have casinos and racetracks (particularly those of the "racino" variety) want it for their licensees.
That is what is happening in New Jersey, which is already planning to implement sports betting. Governor Chris Christie has previously vetoed a bill that would have legalized online gambling, but he would be agreeable to one that restricted it to those who already held licenses in the Garden State. Nevada is doing something that is similar. Some states are even weighing the possibility of allowing licensees to offer the games to the residents of other states, but that brings in an additional "hornet's nest" of potential legal problems.