Offshore gambling has become popular because of the tremendous opportunities that are made available to gamblers and gambling houses alike MEGAGAME. The history of offshore gambling can be traced back to the 1990’s when a Caribbean island called Antigua (Barbuda) made online gambling legal. This resulted in a flood of gamblers especially from the US where the government tried in vain to make online gambling illegal. This decision was taken to control the problems caused due to gambling. On November 10 2004, the WTO (World Trade Organization) ruled in favor of the Antigua government. The accusation was that the Caribbean government was exporting the gambling business to the US. However, the WTO ruled that the US government acted against GATS (General Agreement in Trade and Services).
Offshore gambling is only possible because of the Internet, which provides unprecedented opportunities for gamblers. Online gambling is a very lucrative business since it can be operated even if the laws of a country do not permit it.
Other recent inventions such as tablet PCs and mobile phones have acted as catalysts in promoting offshore gambling. The main reason behind this is that people can gamble from anywhere in contrast to land based gambling. Conventional gambling forces gamblers to be present at a particular site. In offshore or on-line gambling, the gambler can play from anywhere around the world.
The licensing procedures have made the matter even more confusing since a company can get a license from one country, locate the server in another, and cater to the needs of customers from yet another country. Thus, the assortment of legalities and regulations make it impossible for governments around the world to curb or regulate offshore gambling activities.
Today the offshore gambling market is worth a whooping three hundred billion dollars out of which only twenty billion is legal.
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For most people, gambling is simply a way to make sporting events more interesting, or a part of an annual trip to Las Vegas. However, for some, gambling can be a dangerous addiction that ruins marriages, ends careers, and can result in bankruptcy and even suicide. Gambling addictions have become so prevalent that the American Psychiatric Association now identifies “gambling addiction” as a psychiatric disorder afflicting one to three percent of American adults. With the growing popularity of online gambling sites, these estimates may continue to rise.
So what is the allure of online gambling? Well, the most obvious answer is convenience. Gamblers no longer need to travel to Vegas or Atlantic City, as the Internet provides access to gambling 24 hours a day, seven days a week with complete anonymity. Further, online gambling occurs without the actual or immediate exchange of money. It’s easy for participants to loose site of the fact that they are actually playing for real cash! Other attractions include the ease with which people can set up accounts and the escape associated with spending hours playing games online.
So when does an interest in gambling reach the point of addiction? There are generally three criteria used to diagnose an addiction of any kind. First and foremost is that the word “addiction” implies a loss of behavioral control. Those who are addicted simply cannot control their gambling. What may have started as a quick game of poker may turn into an all day – all night gambling bender. Second, addicted gamblers often develop a “tolerance” to gambling in the same way an alcoholic becomes increasingly tolerant to alcohol. Addicted gamblers will require higher and higher stakes in order to get the high that they desire. Finally, the extent to which a behavior interferes with one’s functioning is often used as criteria for diagnosing addiction. In the case of an addicted gambler, he or she may empty bank accounts, sell valued heirlooms, or build up massive amounts of dept. In extreme cases, an addicted gambler may steal from friends and family members to finance their addiction or even become clinically depressed following a devastating loss.