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By: John
Gambling is one of the oldest past times and has been in existence for many centuries. Over the centuries, gambling has changed various forms and in the past two decades with the arrival of Internet Gambling, it has reached a new level. Today Internet Gambling is a lucrative business,with revenues rising from a mere $830 million in 1998 to a staggering$21 billion in 2008.Historically speaking, Internet Gambling was first licensed in Antigua and Barbuda in the form of online casinos in 1994.

The most common and popular form is Online Poker, where the players compete against fellow players, with the card room, making money in the form of match fees and “rake”. Online casinos now offer traditional roulette, blackjack and baccarat thus giving the users the same ambience. Sports betting has been legalised in many countries, where bets are placed on the results as well as scores of the matches in advance. Government run lotteries generate huge tax cash flows, so in order to protect them, they have jumped on the online bandwagon. This has spelt a death knell on the private online lotteries. The UK National Lottery or Lotto has an average sale of £5billion. It’s advertisement campaign cost £72 Million and ran on ten TV channels and had the largest poster campaign. Internet &sports bookies and betting exchanges draw a significant income from horse racing. Mobile gambling is the new kid on the block. It allows users to play games of chance or skill for money through a smartphone or a tablet with a wireless internet connection. Thus we have reached to a point where Internet gambling has made gambling accessible to anyone anytime and anywhere.

Online gamblers upload funds to the Internet Gambling service provider, make bets, play games and then eventually cash out the winnings. The gambling accounts are funded by credit or debit cards and winnings are cashed out back on the cards. Electronic money transfers have fuelled Internet Gambling in a big way. Online gambling satisfiesyour gambling interests from the convenience of your home, ratheranywhere as long as you have a reliable wireless connection and abasic smart phone.

TheUK government has passed The Gambling Act 2005, which covers each andevery legal aspect of Internet Gambling. The licensing objectives inThe Gambling Act 2005 is to prevent gambling from being a source ofcrime or social disorder and ensure that it is conducted in allfairness and in a transparent manner. It also aims to protect thevulnerable individuals like children from being exploited or harmed.

Arecent study has revealed that 39 countries have completely bannedonline casinos while 32 countries do not allow local operators to runa casino. A good number of 61 countries license online casino, while93 counties have no licensing or banning policy.

Afterall, one must realize that Internet gambling is not a bad thing if itis done within the framework of what it\'s meant for, which is fun andentertainment.

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