Internet gambling is one of the most predatory businesses in the world which is why public opinion polls show that two out of three Americans oppose its legalization.
It is one of the purest forms of predatory gambling for at least four reasons: the speed of the game, the frequency of play (gambling operators allow users to play multiple games at once), the intensity of the high or buzz people get when they play and the enormous amount of money people lose, all of which goes down twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. It is the equivalent of opening a Las Vegas casino in every house, apartment and dorm room in America.
Gambling operators say these facts justify why we need to “regulate” predatory internet gambling. Yet casinos like Harrah’s make 90 percent of its gambling profits from the financial losses of 10 percent of its visitors, according to Christina Binkley’s book, “Winner Takes All.’’
The obvious question is this: how do you “regulate” a business in which nearly all its profits are based on people who are addicted and out-of-control? The answer is you can’t.
A First-Rate Summary of Predatory Internet Gambling
A first-rate summary of the predatory internet gambling issue.
Internet Gambling Brief
Internet Gambling Offers Another Avenue for Organized Crime and Money Laundering
A report by Dr. John Kindt, a University of Illinois Professor of Business and Legal Policy, shows government-sanctioned gambling to be economically and politically destabilizing. As exemplified by casinos, gambling provides quick and substantial quantities of stable cash flow to predatory gambling operators, and particularly in less-secure governmental systems, these operators are often associated with groups dedicated to destabilizing the government, such as organized crime, terrorist, and rebel groups.
Internet Gambling - Organized Crime and Money Laundering
Fact Sheet on Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006
Here is a fact sheet about UIGEA when it was passed in 2006.
UIGEA 2006 - Fact Sheet
U.S. Public in 2010: Keep Las Vegas in Las Vegas
A March 2010 poll from Farleigh Dickinson University finds that 67% of Americans want internet gambling to remain illegal.
Keep Las Vegas in Las Vegas
Why Legalizing Sports Betting and Online Gambling is a Loser for New Jersey
In an excellent op-ed column, former New Jersey Casino Control Commission member Carl Zeitz examines why legalizing sports betting and online gambling is a bad deal for New Jersey.
Sports Betting and Online Gambling Are Not a Smart Bet for New Jersey
Poker Bots Invade Online Gambling
The online gambling world is faced with a menace: poker bots. These are robots that have been programmed to play poker and beat the odds - and people are racking up debt because of them.
Poker Bots Invade Online Gambling
FBI Letter on Internet Gambling Issues
Below is a 2009 letter from the F.B.I.'s Cyber Division with responses to questions about internet gambling from the Ranking Member of the House Financial Services Committee. The letter includes statements that technology currently exists to both manipulate online gambling and to illicitly launder money through online gambling. Serious questions are also raised about the claims that online vendors could accurately validate the age of players.
FBI Letter on Internet Gambling
Poker Bots and Cheaters Make Online Gambling Even More Predatory
In the summer of 2010, one the world's leading online predatory gambling companies, PokerStars, refunded $2.1 million to its customers after discovering cheaters colluded to rig games. In another incident, PokerStars paid out another $80,000 to players who had unwittingly been up against poker "bots" - automatic card playing software. These bots are causing people to lose even more money than normal. Click on this link to the story and the podcast from BBC Radio 5.
You will need to scroll halfway down the page to obtain the podcast.
Can the World of Online Poker Chase Out the Cheats?
Only 0.5% of All Americans Gambled Online for Money Last Year
PokerScout, a website that tracks online poker, estimates that 1.8 million people played poker for money in the U.S. last year. That’s ½ of 1% of all Americans. While only a very few are presently gambling online, the predatory gambling lobby is spending millions of dollars so it can dramatically increase the amount of citizens regularly losing money on extreme forms of gambling.
Poker Crackdown - Time to Fold Em
Poker Bots Taking Over Online Gambling
Kurt Eggert, a professor at Chapman University School of Law is concerned that consumer protection is becoming extremely difficult as cheaters use "poker robots," advanced intelligence programs, to tilt the tables.
"I know of no way to prevent somebody from having a bot on one computer telling him what to play on another computer," Eggert said. "This is a huge problem for the industry in that recreational gamblers don't want to go on their poker sites and get killed by somebody using a bot, and that is going to happen more and more as bots get smarter and smarter."
"There are international competitions now to design the best poker-playing bots and they are doing a darn good job," Eggert said.
Chairwoman Says Go Slow On Legalizing Web Poker
Casino Game Makers Outline a Winning Strategy on Facebook
This article released from All Things Digital in April of 2012 outlines the casino presence and tactics on social networking sites such as Facebook. Pointing out that a 30 percent cut of game developers' revenues goes to Facebook for the right to be on the social network. Facebook is also a way to introduce casino games to a younger crowd, hooking them at the most basic level.
Casino Game Makers Outline a Winning Strategy on Facebook
Casino giant IGT launches popular slot machine on Facebook
In an effort to encourage more young people to lose money gambling on the Internet, International Gaming Technology has launched its Da Vinci Diamonds slot machine, which can be found in casinos across the country, as a Facebook game, as if it were Farmville or Words With Friends.
2012 Casino giant IGT goes social, launches Vegas slot machine favorite on Facebook
Turning gamers into gamblers
Popular, long-running online game Runescape is being widely criticised for encouraging youngsters to gamble..Australian gamer, parent and former gambling addict Jakob Gamertsfelder is a veteran Runescape player but is now one of many actively protesting about the game's new direction - what he describes as "an online casino aimed at children". Most of the complaints are directed at Squeal of Fortune, which was added early this year and allows players to "buy spins" to a virtual wheel of fortune to win prizes. Jakob says Squeal of Fortune is "marketing aimed at habituating and incentivising gambling, directly aimed at kids". "My motivation comes not just from the good memories of spending time with my kids in Runescape but also from remembering what it feels like to be caught up in a gambling addiction, which I was for some years." Last year a gambling industry veteran urged sports betting agencies to target video gamers, while a study suggested teenager game players had brains "like gambling addicts". Meanwhile, research in 2009 suggested teenagers who regularly play video games are more likely to develop anti-social behaviour that can lead to problem gambling.
Jakob Gamertsfelder is particularly angry that Runescape's new owners Jagex changed the terms and conditions of Runescape around the same time as launching Squeal of Fortune. The changes ensure the company is not liable if a player uses someone else’s credit card. He says this seems to have been done because Jagex expects kids to use their parent’s cards without permission. "The timing indicates the intent," Jakob says. "It annoys the crap out of me that Jagex does something this malicious and then fobs off responsibility to parents."
Turning gamers into gamblers
Facebook online casinos ‘tempting young to gamble’
The UK’s MailOnline
reports online gambling giant 888
has struck a lucrative deal with Facebook to offer Las Vegas-style slot machines and other games funded by credit and debit card transactions up to £500 (roughly US $761). Facebook and its gambling partners have been training youth with slot and bingo-style games. The Mail
quotes Mark Griffiths, professor of gambling studies at Nottingham Trent University citing research showing that playing free games online is a big factor in developing problem gambling. He warned the new apps will open the floodgates as “gambling companies dive into the social media frenzy to make money. It is thought Facebook will take a 30 percent cut of all bets placed.”
These free games are available to US customers as well. Online game giant Zynga for months has featured intrusive popups and ads pushing their slots and poker games in their ubiquitous "Words with Friends" blockbuster game.
2012 Social network is tempting young to gamble with new betting games
Lottery tickets may soon be purchased with credit cards
A recent rise in online gambling has caused some states to allow consumers to purchase lottery tickets online. However, as this article explains, this allows problem gamblers to rack up huge amounts of debt more quickly and more easily.
2013 Buy Lottery Tickets with a Credit Card
Italian mafia uses German online gambling sites for money laundering
This article from Deutsche Welle
examines the use of German online gambling sites by Italian mafia members for transferring money made by human trafficking and drugs into legal circulation. Due to unclear laws, the police are powerless to stop the situation, as more and more illegal money exchanges hands over the internet. A prominent Italian lawyer described the "unbelievable" sums of money flowing through internet gambling, which could total almost $2 billion.
Online gambling- Playing into the mafias hands
Online poker popularity is on the decline
This article from the Online Casino Archives
details the rapid drop in online poker players in recent months. Even as online poker has expanded to include three new states in 2014, more and more players are folding on online poker.
2014 Online Poker Player Figures Continue to Fall
DE casinos to launch online operations
The three casinos in the state of Delaware are about to put in motion the first phase of their online gambling operations, which will be run through Facebook. The first phase will include only free games but within months, these casinos hope to have up and running full-fledged casino games online, running through Facebook. Delaware is now the first state in the nation to have legal casino games online. These two articles, from the USA Today
and Delaware Online
, describe this development, which will allow problem gamblers to throw their money away from the comfort of their own couch and allow America's kids to get sucked in through Facebook.
Delaware's 3 casinos launch free online gaming
Delaware casinos' online gambling will be run through Facebook
Experts warn gambling and family violence linked
An Australian advocacy group, Women's Health East, have explored the relationship between two social issues, gambling and family violence.
2015 Concerning link between online gambling advertisements and family violence, experts warn (1)
Churchill Downs continues to proper, but not with horse racing alone
Of the 64% of Americans who gambled on something this past year, only 7% gambled on horse racing. Yet Churchill Downs enjoyed a record setting second quarter with revenues of $438.5 million, up 7% over last year. By holding expenses stable, profits rose to $69.8 million which was a 26.7% increase. The Derby reported gains of $5.2 million, just a tiny fraction of the whole profit picture.
So where does the big money come from? The big mover was Big Fish Games, Churchill’s PC and apps game division. This division reported a $20.7 million increase in revenue for the quarter, an increase
nearly four times the revenue from the racetrack. Twin Spires, which is the advanced deposit wagering operation, also reported a $7.9 million increase in revenue. While the track is doing well on Derby Day, the real money comes from various forms of online gambling. Churchill also owns several race tracks and casinos around the country, but that revenue is relatively stable, but still sizable. So the secret to success for a horse track is to diversify into other forms of gambling and have your major competitor (the Stronach Group) go into bankruptcy.
Janet Patton, “Churchill Downs earnings get 27 percent boost from Big Fish Games, Kentucky Derby,” Lexington Herald-Leader,
Thursday. August 4, 2016, Page 6A.
A new wave of gambling may be coming through eSports
If you are not a regular player of video games then you are probably unaware of eSports. This word represents competitive video gaming, complete with tournaments, leagues, professional level players, large prizes, teams and even cheating. There is also betting on the outcome of matches which is flirting with going mainstream and causing a surge in gambling at regulated sports books.
eSports is not to be confused with Daily Fantasy Sports which is devoted to the usual sports such as baseball, basketball, football, soccer and tennis. eSports is about video games. While online and off line tournaments have been around for at least three decades, the commercialization and professionalization growth has risen rapidly in the last decade. The most informative site for information about eSports is the Wikipedia article by that name.
There were ten tournaments in the year 2000, but that had grown to 260 in 2010. Some of the leading tournament organizers in this growth decade were World Cyber Games, Intel Extreme Masters, and Major League Gaming. The most thoroughly organized location was Korea which has two dedicated TV cable 24-hour channels. In the US DirecTV broadcast the Championship Gaming Series for two seasons in 2007 and 2008, and CBS aired video recorded portions of the 2007 World Series of Video Games from Louisville, KY.
US television networks have been slow to accept video gaming as a sport. Betting without knowledge of teams and leagues is a quick way to lose your money. As tournaments have drawn increased numbers of spectators, they now have referees to prevent cheating. The amount of money in prizes has also grown. As of this past July 4, one of the tournament sponsors, Data 2
has awarded $63 million in prize money with eleven competitors winning over a million dollars.
The growth in prizes has led to banning some players for inappropriate behavior such as verbal abuse, unfair access to information, and the use of performance enhancing drugs. Some offenses have been worse in Korea than here. Another problem has been discrimination against women, who in the earlier days were not allowed entry to tournaments. Despite all this the experts are expecting a growth spurt in spectators for telecast tournaments and a spurt in bets at legitimate sports books. The betting on eSports is expected to reach $7.4 billion this year, 12 times what is bet legally, mostly in Europe and the Orient. The methods of extracting your money seem endless and ever changing. Only you can protect yourself by staying away.
Eben Novy-Williams, “Legal Sports Books Get Ready for Billions in E-Sports Betting,” August 26, 2016. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-08-26/
See also https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ESports
Why Sheldon Adelson Opposes DFS
Sheldon Adelson is the owner of the largest gambling empire in Las Vegas, the Sands. He is the main mover behind the $1.9 billion football stadium planned for Las Vegas and the move of the Oakland Raiders to Las Vegas. While he makes his money extracting money from casino players, he sees a difference between what he does and the exploitation of the young and the poor through DFS games. He is opposed to legalizing them and he claims that his opposition is not just based on not wanting the competition.
Nevada recently determined that DFS is gambling, did not outlaw it, but required that providers of DFS must seek a gambling license. Most DFS companies will not do that because they claim they are not providing gambling. One small vendor has applied for a license and has opened lounges in a few Vegas casinos. But, effectively DFS is banned from Nevada.
Adelson is temporarily satisfied with Nevada’s action because he believes that DFS is immoral, preying upon the poor and the young. Adelson differentiates his own predatory gambling as being upon the wealthy an middle class who go to Las Vegas to gamble and for whom the casino can refuse to serve them if they are exhibiting signs of getting too deeply engrossed in the games. The distinction between a predatory casino and a predatory DFS provider may seem vague to most of us, but to Adelson the distinction between what he regards as controlled gambling and gambling without controls on who loses and how much, is a difference between a moral business and an immoral one. This author disagrees.
Twenty-eight NFL teams have cut deals with Draft Kings or Fan Duels. Adelson says the league is involved with gambling already. The claim that DFS is not gambling is fallacious. DFS makes everyone with a cell phone a potential gambler, and a potential addict. Adelson views that as immoral because of the access to the poor and the young because the DFS sites cannot card their patrons. When asked if he would provide lounges for DFS players in his casinos as some Las Vegas casinos have done for a share of the profits, he replied, “NEVER!”
Daniel Roberts, September 9, 2016.