Over the last 20 years, access to gambling has expanded dramatically across the world. This has been fueled in large part by the advent of the internet and the proliferation of personal computers and smart devices.
With people around the world now able to access online casinos from wherever they are at any time of day, it has become easier than ever to gamble. In response, countries have adjusted their laws to allow legalized gambling and to take advantage of the many economic benefits of gambling.
Countries that have embraced online gambling have reaped the rewards of doing so in many ways. Let’s take a closer look at the online gambling industry and how it’s benefited countries around the world.
Increased Tax Revenue
When online gambling first became available, only a few countries benefited from it. Those were the ones that were open to hosting offshore betting sites, such as Costa Rica, Malta and some others.
All other countries whose residents were playing at these offshore casinos had no way to bring in any money associated with the practice of gambling. In addition, all they could do to regulate it was to ban residents from gambling at offshore online casinos.
That didn’t work very well, though. So, many countries decided to go the other route — regulating online gambling in their own country and then bringing in the tax revenue associated with it.
One of the most recent and impressive examples of this is the United States. Many states across the country legalized online gambling, and then heavily regulated and taxed it. They figured that their residents were already participating in online gambling, so why not take advantage of that and keep it local.
It has worked, too. Many states have reported impressive positive returns and revenue that can fund various projects throughout the state. The same has been true in other countries that have taken this approach.
Legalized online gambling, and the revenue that has come from it for countries, has proven especially valuable during the coronavirus pandemic, when tax revenue was a lot lower due to local lockdown orders being in place.
When these countries began to legalize online gambling, they not only increased their revenue opportunities and the opportunities for their residents to gamble, they also took control of the entire operation. They didn’t have to worry about safety and security of offshore online casinos, and neither did their residents.
The countries took matters into their own hands, passing local laws that would regulate how legal online gambling could happen. In the end, this led to more legitimate online casino operators popping up in the countries where online gambling was legal.
Not only did this protect players and put control in the hands of local governments, but it also helped spur local business activity. Online casinos began popping up everywhere, and that business activity resulted in increased hiring of local people to help run the online operation.
A lot of people who were at once very skeptical about online gambling have come around to its immense benefits and possibilities. A recent survey in the U.S., for example, found that nearly 70% of people believed online gambling had a positive benefit to the country’s economy, and that it provided high-quality jobs, too.
A lot of countries that have legalized online gambling have done a great job of ensuring that the revenue that comes from the activity goes back into the local community. This could come in the form of increased funding for older residents or for increased educational resources. Some countries have used it to continue building out technology infrastructure to make sure more residents have access to high-speed internet.
As online gambling has been legalized and is more available, the need to go underground and gamble illegally has waned. This has resulted in lower crime associated with gambling, since it no longer has to be done in back alleys or on the internet illegally.
Reduced crime almost always has a positive economic benefit on countries. As crime goes down, legitimate business increases, and the economy benefits tremendously.
This happens around the world all the time, and the popularity and expansion of the online gambling industry is no exception.
As online gambling continues to expand and become more acceptable around the world, all of these trends are likely to increase exponentially. It’s just another reason why so many different groups, different people and different countries are pushing for increased access to, and regulation of, online gambling.