Over the past couple of years, mobile gambling has risen to prominence with more and more users favouring the ease, convenience and increasing accessibility of technology. For national governments, it has been hard to keep up with the regulation of mobile gambling as it has expanded so quickly. With each passing day, it appears that it is taking over land-based, traditional forms of gambling in popularity . And the more it grows, the more regulation is required. But we’re here today to ask the question: does mobile gambling even need regulation? Read on to find out what we think.
An International Phenomenon
We’re talking on a global scale here, not just mobile gambling in the UK. Of course, we as a nation regulate mobile gambling to a T, as we do with almost everything else — us Brits love a bit of regulation, hence why many perceive us as a “nanny state”.
But there are still many countries who don’t regulate it at all either because mobile gambling isn’t as popular as it is over here or because their governments consider other matters more of a priority. But because mobile gambling is becoming an international phenomenon, the necessity to regulate is becoming more of a pressing issue. There’s almost no way of hiding from it anymore.
Obviously, like with everything else, there are benefits towards increased regulation, but with mobile gambling it’s more of a question of why it should be regulated.
- Massive Growth: We don’t want to harp on about this but the mobile gambling industry has shown massive growth in the last few years alone with over a $56 billion net worth. This is a 100% increase over the last nine years alone.
- Better Measures: For governments who don’t regulate mobile gambling, many of them tend to just block the IP of the web address as a disciplinary measure. This, obviously, is a very unfair, black-and-white system which could become much more sophisticated if these governments took the time to developer proper regulations.
- Economical: Companies and governments could be pulling in so much more money if they chose to regulate mobile gambling because it is such a lucrative market. Not only would casinos feel more freedom to trade (odd, considering regulations can be restrictive) but the perception of mobile gambling will change and become more socially acceptable, which brings us onto our next point…
- Changing Perceptions: From what we’ve observed, the more something is regulated, the more socially acceptable it is. For instance, alcohol is more harmful to you than cannabis, yet alcohol is more socially acceptable to consume because it is regulated unlike cannabis which is, in many countries, completely illegal. If the same happens with mobile gambling, it’ll be seen more favourably in the eyes of society.
- Addiction: It will be much better for those addicted to mobile gambling to seek help when the government has tighter regulations. There will also be much more prevention tactics to stop it happening in the first place, which is always better than having to deal with a problem that’s already there.
Of course, with benefits there are also drawbacks. In the case of mobile gambling, however, the benefits are a double-edged sword and can present more problems as well as solutions.
- Restrictive Measures: With more measures in place, the more people may feel restricted by the government. It is not a totally free market, as it should be, since mobile gambling can become problematic. But an over-zealous regulating body can make it impossible for traders to make a profit. However, we would take this any day over a government that would shut you down the moment you make a wrong move.
- Worsening Perceptions: Some people, rather than believe regulation is making mobile gambling more socially acceptable, may think that the government is encouraging “immoral” behaviour. These perceptions are dwindling, though, and are being taken less seriously by the day. In reality, more and more people are gambling unabated all over the world.
- More Addiction: Because of this perceived threat of mobile gambling, many may also believe that it’ll worsen the case of problem gambling. This drawback is probably the least serious as regulation policies tend to set standards for every casino to follow. If a company chooses to ignore those standard, there will be consequences.
We hate to sound like busy-bodies but we think that, yes, there should be regulation of mobile gambling – more now than ever. Why? Because if governments choose to ignore it much longer, they will find themselves with a rising black market on their hands which they will find more difficult to control once it has been established.
In the UK, we have already taken steps and have set an example of what good mobile gambling regulation looks like as well as countries like Brazil. While some may argue that our laws are a little too restrictive, it’s always better to be safe than sorry. And what’s the alternative? A government that doesn’t care who shuts down a website willy-nilly? It may be bureaucratic but it makes sense.