October 4, 2010 12:46:27 PM EDT
I was just thinking earlier that the PPA have been fairly quiet the last month or three.
The UK allows online gambling (poker, casino, bingo, etc) providing the site is run and licensed from any EU or EEA country. (Extended European Area, I think.)
They also accept external countries where the regulation of online gambling has been found to be of a sufficient standard. These countries include Alderney, Gibraltar, the Isle of Man, Tasmania and most recently Antigua.
The country has to regulate and license the site offering gambling and ensure that controls are in place to stop minors betting, must not advertise to under 18s, must not glamourise gambling, have payout limits, etc. They must also offer ways of self-exclusion where someone can effectively put their name on a list and all the sites will reject them if they ever try to open an account.
The sites must also promote problem gambling assistance. A lot of the gambling sites contribute to gambling charities as well.
Some countries and areas have been rejected though so it's not a free-for-all. Kahawake is probably the most prolific area to apply and been turned down. I read that their regulation isn't tight enough and they don't offer enough in the way of protection from gambling addiction and problem gambling.
Legalised gambling in the UK has been around for a few years now and so far it seems to be working out well. Online gambling is up and also is the number of problem gamblers but it's mainly from habitual gamblers who have had a problem for a long time. With online gambling being regulated, it's also opened up channels for people with a problem to seek help and make it more accessible, so it also helps.
To be honest, even the most devout anti-gamblers have gone quiet over here, except for a select few and overall it's working out well.
Regulation will change here soon though as the government realised that unless they license the sites directly within the UK, they don't get the tax money. The majority of sites and gambling companies moved offshore to the tax-havens when regulation opened up so it's worked out well for the people but not for the tax collectors.
Generally though, legalised gambling has worked out better than most imagined, created less problems than the doom-slayers were promoting and has kept people playing in a regulated environment rather than underground.
I'm all for it.