There has been historical evidence of gambling activities as early as 2300 BC, but some historians estimated that even the caveman might have been involved in such activities. It’s an inherited trait in all animals really – the lust for instant gratification and high, intensified, risk. Some people like to go on rollercoasters, others go on hunting trips, and some people just plainly enjoy shooting dice.
Until very recent history, gambling was never forbidden by law, but in the 20th century, governments have completely and utterly ignored some of the most basic human rights, and stripped the working class from them, and the right to gamble just happened to be one of them.
The excuses they came up with are almost as ludicrous as the war on drugs. “It’s bad for society”, they say. “It’s bad for the country”, they relentlessly suggest.
It might be the case, but governments can’t prevent that from happening. Folks that are into gambling are bound to find someplace, legal or illegal, domestic or abroad, where they can wager their funds freely. Either way, whether they go to illegal parlors, or legitimate institutes abroad, their tax money is forever gone.
More importantly even is the fact that it’s none of the government’s business to tell people what they can and can’t do. There are enough limitations in life for every man, and woman, that prevent us from fulfilling our true selves. It is certainly not a bad thing to sink into an activity like gambling to forget the day’s troubles and chores for even a brief moment, as long as it’s done in moderation (which by itself is an individual choice, rather than something that can be dictated from above).
Tom Wilson, who is the chief editor at BestCasinoCanada.com, has been playing at various casinos for real money in the past 10 years. He lived in 5 different countries during this period, and he explains how local authorities treated online gambling during this period:
“I lived in the USA after the UIGE law has passed. There were still many casinos accepting local clients and it was rather easy to deposit through credit and debit cards, as well as bank transfers and e-wallet. As time passed, the selection was narrowed down. Trustworthy casinos with good clientele outside the U.S decided to take a beat instead of risking being persecuted in the U.S.
When I lived in Turkey I was utterly surprised with how anti-gambling their laws are. Gambling is forbidden by Islamic law but Turkey was supposed to be very much a part of Europe (or at least it did, several years ago). In any case, all foreign online casinos were forbidden. There were local brands which knew how to handle Turkish clients and were constantly changing their URL but it felt to me like it can all collapse one day without being able to withdraw the funds back to my Turkish account.
Italy before regulation passed was also much harsher than I would have expected on gambling rules. There AAMS (local regulator) chased down sites that were operating illegally (with a permit… when no permits were handed out besides to local sites like the national lottery). And still, their screening wasn’t as nearly as meticulous as Turkey. It was quite easy to find a casino to play and even easier to deposit and withdraw. The EU laws are very much pro freedom of internet and thus, they always opposed Italy and prevented it from going “all out” against online gambling.
I lived in Australia and had no trouble signing up with casinos which even had local support with Australian operating hours. Felt natural but I recently heard the regulation is becoming much stricter there.
I returned home to Canada in the past few years and have been playing at various casinos. I had the smoothest experiences signing up, getting verified, depositing money, and withdrawing it. Although (besides in BC) it is not ‘legal’ for online casinos to operate, it is also not illegal. It is illegal to operate an online casino without a license if based within Canada, but all operators are based offshore. Thus, the criminal conduct code does not explicitly say it is illegal to play in online casinos. I can say that Canada is online gambling tolerant as it is for other things, as one of the world’s most liberal countries.
It must be stated that in any of these countries where I resided, no players were ever persecuted for playing. Even in Turkey, as far as I know.”
It is difficult to predict what 2017 lies ahead, but there are a few educated guesses to make:
The overall trend is mixed. European countries are more leaning towards regulation, whether as a free-market as Sweden is anticipated to become, or as a “licensed casinos” market like in France, Italy, Austria and Denmark.