Online gambling, also referred to as internet gambling, is placing bets via a computer connection over the internet. You can. bet on all forms of gambling including horse and greyhound racing, sports, casino games, lotteries and sweepstakes.
Types of on line gambling
There are a number of different ways to bet over the internet including via bookmakers, betting exchanges, spread betting firms, online casinos and online card rooms. Bookmakers, betting exchanges and spread betting firms take bets on horse racing and sporting events such as football, cricket and golf. Bookmakers provide bets at fixed odds. Betting exchanges allow customers to decide their own prices, Spread betting firms make predictions about events and the customers decide how correct the predictions are. Online casinos give players the opportunity to play games that are traditionally offered in bricks and mortar casinos. This includes roulette, blackjack, dice, punto banco, poker and slots. Online poker rooms provide the facilities for playing poker against other players from around the world.
The history of on line gambling
Online gambling has seen huge growth since the first online casino, operated by Internet Casinos Inc. (ICI), opened on 18 August 1995. By 1997 the number of online casinos had grown to 30. In 2003 there were over 44,000 online gambling sites. An estimated 12 million people were gambling online, with approximately 3 million from Great Britain (spending £3.5 bIllIon), 4.5 million from the United States and 4 million from Asia. The number of online gambling sites continues to grow.
Is online gambling legal?
Depending on where you live, on line gambling may or may not be legal. In many countries legislation has yet to catch up with the, phenomenon of internet gambling. Much gambling legislation is outdated. As the legal situation may change at any time, you are advised to check the legality of online gambling in your jurisdiction before placing any bets.
In the UK, the Gambling Act 2005 legislates remote betting. Remote betting includes all types of betting where the parties involved in a bet are not face to face. This includes betting over the internet, telephone, via your television and any future technology that may come into being. The Gambling Act 2005 replaces most of the existing law about gambling in Great Britain. A new organization known as the Gambling Commission was formally established on 1st October 2005 and is responsible for controlling gambling by regulating and licensing operators. Licensed gaming sites on the internet will carry a kitemark to show that the necessary standards have been met.
Betting exchanges come under the category of betting intermediaries and are required to have a betting intermediary operating licence from the Gambling Commission. They are required to keep customers’ money in ringfenced accounts.
Spread betting is classified in a different way. Due to its connection to trading on financial markets, all UK spread betting firms are regulated by the Financial Services Authority (FSA), an independent watchdog set up by government under the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 to regulate financial services in the UK. The FSA has a firm check service, where you can find out if a firm is regulated and who to contact in the firm if you have an enquiry or complaint.
The FSA gives spread betting customers a certain degree of protection. If you have a complaint that you think has not been satisfactorily dealt with by the firm, you have access to the Financial Ombudsman Scheme. In addition, if a spread betting firm goes bust, you have access to the Financial Services Compensation Scheme. The FSA website gives details about how to complain.
In Australia, the Interactive Gambling Act 2001 prohibits online casino gambling but allows interactive sports betting and wagering services.