Whether you choose to gamble online or offline, the same issue rises: what are the legal regulations one must be aware of? Simply put: is gambling in a casino safer than placing bets on a website?
Legal aspects in the USA
Gambling was and will be a continuous matter of debate because of all the controversy around it (for example, the US economy gains more than $240 billion from the industry).
But each state is free to create its own laws concerning offline betting:
- only 4 states have legalised it (Montana, Oregon, Delaware, Nevada), whilst the rest did not have a legal establishment;
- 20 states allow commercial casino (with restrictions, of course);
- and even though the majority of them sponsor the classic lottery, 6 still refuse to.
Online gambling is much more strictly regulated:
- websites cannot take sports bets over the internet (except horse racing);
- banks aren’t allowed to handle gambling transactions (The Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006);
- the illegality of betting advertising is a bit obscure (only a few big companies were penalised yet – Google, Yahoo);
- interstate wagering on sports is forbidden (The Federal Wire Act of 1961);
- a few states have the power to criminalise it: Illinois, Indiana, Montana, Louisiana, Nevada, Oregon, South Dakota, Washington and Wisconsin.
Online and offline gambling: the difference
Betting online means you have a room filled with games and machines in the screen in front of you. This way, you get access to everything, with a single click. Betting offline means you are in that room, literally. Is one better than the other? Well, there are advantages and disadvantages for both sides.
Given the fact that internet gambling started to spread its influence among players only a few years ago, there aren’t many theses that study the punters’ behaviour. As in many aspects of our preferences, to gamble online or offline has its own benefits.
Bet on the internet
Nonetheless, at the first glimpse, we can name a couple of the reasons why one would opt for online gambling instead of offline:
- easy to use and to access from no matter the location;
- full-time availability;
- a wide range of choices (games, bets);
- multiple promotions advertised by prestigious bookmakers (for newbies and old time users);
- the right to keep your anonymity.
Watch a TED conference about how important it is for online gambling companies to be responsible.
Gamble in a casino
Studies say that professional gamblers are more into the online gambling due to the convenience, tax-free and easy access to their account. But the lack of physical interaction with the winnings and prizes is a bit disheartening. Yes, not everything is that sunbeamy.
When you play online, you are surrounded by your things, not by slot machines or poker tables. You are still in your room, office, a place you feel comfortable with. In such situations, it is difficult to be aware of the risks you run (mainly, losing a huge amount of money by betting). Whilst offline, you can keep an eye on your funds more carefully.
Cash versus e-cash
Online punters operate with virtual representations of money – not the same value as real money, psychologically speaking. There is some kind of a tendency to give little thought to earnings we don’t have (in our hands) at that particular time.
Feeling versus e-feeling
Medium and social facilitation play a significant role in influencing the players’ betting behaviour. Some studies have shown that even just the presence of a slot machine can increase the gambling intensity of a player in comparison with playing on a website. Players will bet and risk more if they can’t see their opponents’ reactions, which would be a good guide for them in an offline situation.
For example, those who play roulette on the internet place more chips per bet, and make riskier ones than the offline players. Also, it’s been said that many big poker professionals like to play with their casino chips, in-between their fingers, while they think about the next move.
In spite of the advantages of playing on the internet, people won’t just abandon offline betting. The main benefit is that you can receive instant gratification/cash for winning the game, without having the need to wait a 3-day time until you can withdraw the money. In the end, it’s a matter of choice.