You may be surprised to know this, but there is a massive difference between the way in which online gambling is perceived in the United States and the way in which it is perceived in the United Kingdom. On this page I want to take a little look at what this difference in perception is, and perhaps more importantly, discuss a couple of reasons as to why it is the way it is. Let’s jump straight in shall we?
So what is this difference? Well, in the United Kingdom, online gambling is seen as ‘ok’. In fact, you will be surprised at just how many people engage on it. It is unlikely that you will be able to get through a television show on some channels without some sort of advertising for an online gambling website. In some cases this could be in the form of advertising for an online betting website and in other cases it could be advertising an online casino, but either way, it is an accepted part of the culture in a great Britian. In short, the notion of of wagering money online is not frowned on quite so much. Now, this brings me onto the sometimes backwards United States…
In the USA, well, in most states, gaming over the internet is not allowed. In fact, most forms of gambling are frowned upon socially. I am sure that almost everybody has some form of opinion when it comes to whether online gambling should be allowed or not, but that has not mattered over the recent years.
Now, that everyone has access to the internet it has meant that it is quite easy for people in the United States to hop on and engage in a bit of online gambling. Well, it did at least. This was until 2006 when the ‘Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act’ came into play. This made it illegal to offer some gambling services to residents of the United States while the casino site is located the as well. As a result, most sites stopped providing to those in the US period. It is simply too hard for most companies to pass the criteria to be accepted. This has caused a lot of misinformation from multiple sources. In short, online gambling is seen as an ‘illegal activity’ in the eyes of a lot of people. This is shocking to those in the United Kingdom who see online gambling as a harmless activity within reason, whether they engage in it or not.
Now, I said that I would discuss a little bit about why this perception is different. This is something which is far easier said than done as it reaches through many facets of acceptance, denial, and culture. I think a lot of it stems from early legislation in the United States which prohibited even standard forms of real money games. It is worth noting at this point that most legislation in the United States has not actually been updated to include online gambling, but rather amended unsuccessfully. In fact, most states tried to ban it based on legislation which is over one hundred years old, but has been reconsidered by a recent announcement from the US federal government that it only applied to businesses operations onshore! I think when people have lived with no gambling for most their lives then it is very difficult to actually want change. I mean, I am sure there are people out there who want it, but these tend to be less vocal than those who don’t. As a result, it stays illegal, people still frown down on it, and nothing really chances, no matter how silly it seemed, until recently. Some states have attempted to change the legislation to allow sports betting, although there are strict limits in place. I don’t expect this to change any time soon, but I do think progress is being made as evident in the new laws in New Jersey and Nevada.