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Is legislation an effective form of tackling black market gambling in developing nations?

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Although throughout the UK gambling is allowed in many different forms, this certainly isn’t the case worldwide. Many different countries have their own gambling rules and regulations, which makes certain types of betting illegal. However, this doesn’t mean that people in these countries don’t gamble, it just means that they generally have to find a loophole in the rules to enable them to do so, especially with recent advancements in online and mobile tech. For those that do wish to gamble there are often a variety of ways around the rules for consumers. However, for governments that wish to track any monetary transactions and ensure that gambling is done legally and that consumers are protected when accessing these sites, this does make life difficult.

Countries where some form of gambling is illegal include:

  • Singapore – In Singapore, you are allowed to visit a casino but you are not allowed to bet on sporting events. To host a private lottery you need to get specific permission, otherwise, it is only national public-funded lotteries that are allowed to take place.
  • United Arab Emirates – There are no physical casinos within the United Arab Emirates at all. There are some places that offer online gambling but there are some strict prison sentences in place for those that are found guilty or partaking in any sort of gambling.
  • North Korea – There are some gambling establishments within North Korea, but these are strictly for visitors to the country. Anyone who lives in North Korea will find themselves banned from any sort of betting.
  • Japan – Gambling was illegal in Japan until relatively recently, although they do now have a handful of casinos. They do not allow stand-alone casinos and instead only permit them as part of a bigger complex, for example within a hotel
  • Parts of the USA – Different states within the USA have their own rules, with some allowing land-based casinos and sportsbooks alongside mobile and online services with minimal restrictions, others have a combination or one of these choices with more restrictions, and some have banned all forms of gambling.

 How Do People Get Around The Rules?

Just because gambling within a country or state is illegal, it doesn’t mean that there aren’t some loopholes that people can take advantage of. For example, if you live in Florida and want to gamble, you can just travel to a nearby state and place your bet there; which is perfectly legal.

One of the biggest issues regulators are facing is illegal online casinos. In many countries where hosting a casino in that country is illegal, black market sites operate without restriction that offer no legal protections for consumers. Many of these will not be reputable, but rather have links to organised crime, and due to the lack of government oversight personal information and banking details will be vulnerable.

One issue is jurisdiction – savvy organised crime enterprises based on one side of the world will still have a fully functioning online site that they can advertise in the language of the country they are targeting even if they aren’t based there.

Another is the rise of technology – the mass expansion of the internet and mobile devices globally, especially in developing countries has meant that people are effectively carrying a full-service casino on their phone. Unfortunately, this also means that it is easier for unreputable sites, sometimes operated by organised crime, to connect with consumers in unregulated jurisdictions across the world.

 Can legalisation cut down visits to illegal sites?

It may be impossible to absolutely eradicate all illegal and unlicensed gambling sites, and unfortunately, there may always be those with the appetite to find them. Therefore, awareness of these sites and the signs and indicators to spot are key to make sure you are playing on a registered site – often on these black market sites, there are no rules in place to make sure that anything is done fairly, or safely. By choosing to make gambling legal, it means that the government can work with regulating bodies to ensure that all betting takes place as it should.

For example, within the UK, all sorts of betting is allowed but it is all regulated and everyone has to operate within the same rules. This means operating gambling responsibly policies and even showing the odds of winning within their games. This helps to ensure that consumers know exactly what they are getting into and that the bets they place are safe and secure, taking advantage of an instant payout casino.

Of course, the other bonus is that the Government knows how much is being spent and how much money the gambling industry is making. This allows them to put in place procedures for these establishments to pay the right amount of tax and fees.

If people choose to play at an online casino that is based outside of their country, this simply means that money is leaving the country which isn’t going to be a massive help to the economy, but also the government protections for consumers in one country may be nowhere near as vigorous as others. Many government bodies are starting to decide that it is much better to know what is going on and monitor it rather than making it illegal and hidden away.

 What This Means For People Who Want to Bet Online

For those that do use online casinos in a country which has already legalised gambling, it is still very important to keep updated with the latest regulations within a certain country – these often change are under scrutiny from charities and other organisation, so rules can alter at a fairly quick pace. Those who are based in nations with stricter rules when it comes to placing bets online may simply have to be patient – it is much better to wait for the safety net of government-backed regulation than visiting unregulated and illegal sites.

It is likely that if rules do change, governments will advertise this fact alongside which the regulating bodies are and what this means for those that do place bets online. If you are within a country that this might affect you can be assured that the casino you choose to use will let you know too.

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