When it comes to online casinos, there’s a lot of debate in the US about regulation and whether states should tax an activity that people all over the country do anyway. Opponents of online gambling argue that Internet casinos cause people to bet more than they can. And it could lead to gambling problems.
Studies have actually shown that the prevalence of online gambling doesn’t increase the likelihood of online gambling. Someone with compulsive, addictive behavior will find a way to gamble one way or another. And, for argument’s sake, let’s say that someone does become addicted to the tables or slots at an online casino. If that person is playing at CoolCat Casino, there are mechanisms in place to keep that player safe.
We identify problem gambling and help players curb their habit by working with them to reduce their game limits or deposit limits, or shutting them out of the casino completely. Unfortunately, the same can’t be said about the United Kingdom. On the other side of the pond, it’s not online casinos that people need to worry about. It’s fixed-odds betting terminals.
Dotting the streets of London and other UK cities are perfectly legal betting shops where punters can place sports wagers. You can also play casino games at large electronic machines known as Fixed-Odds Betting Terminals, or FOBTs for short. You can play virtual roulette and other games.
The profit generated in this industry tops $2.3 billion US, and it’s easy to see how.
Unlike some of the video slot games you might see in the occasional US bar where you can only bet a quarter per spin, in the UK, you can bet £100 per spin – and you can do so every 20 seconds. That’s $165 in US dollars, for the record. It’s easy to see why they’re called the crack-cocaine of gambling.
Compare that to online where deposit limits could be limited to just a few hundred bucks in a week and it’s easy to see where the real danger is. While the online casino industry is regulated in the UK, the FOBT industry doesn’t seem to be, and that’s caused a lot of people to lose a lot of money in not a lot of time.
Those who are against online gambling should look at where the real problem is before complaining about an industry that has systems in place to protect players. Hopefully the betting shops can take some cues from CoolCat Casino and other trustworthy online casinos and look after players in a responsible way.