Online Betting was valued at $58.2 billion in 2021, and is expected to reach $145.6 billion by 2030. This is an industry that has seen rapid expansion in recent times with more and more acceptance from countries worldwide.
Just quite recently, Gambling.com posted an astounding growth that surprised many. The Third Quarter growth of the company in 2022 marked an year over year growth of 94%.
Earlier considered a stigma, the capital gains from the industry is increasing its acceptability. It has a substantial base in Europe and slowly more and more US states are accepting it as well.
Kentucky is among the US states that has been vying for sports betting legalisation. Now, just as the year began, a bill to legalise the same has been introduced in the Kentucky General Assembly.
This is not the first time legal procedures regarding it have been introduced. In the previous year a bill was introduced as well. However, although it was accepted by the assembly it failed to go beyond the Senate Committee.
The bill that has been presented currently seeks to legalise online sports betting, poker, and fantasy gaming as well. The bill mentions the licensing fees and tax rates for different categories as well as different online regulations.
For fantasy based betting, the bill proposes to charge licensing fees to only those entities with more than 100 users. There will also be no restriction on online platforms to host such fantasy betting. This seems like a move to support the online creators.
However, there still remains some speculation regarding the success of the bill, and among the primary concerns behind this are Gray Machines.
Gray machines are waist sized electronic devices that you might have seen frequently in pictures of Las Vegas. However, in Kentucky several of such illegal Gray Machines have been mushrooming.
Since most of these machines are unregulated these leave plenty of space for exploitation and money laundering. Being unregulated, people addicted to such kinds of gambling activities, especially the youth, are at the most vulnerable level.
People have the fear that come the legalisation of online gambling in Kentucky, the number of such Gray Machines would explode.
This was among the prime reasons why the bill in the previous year was dropped. And if the issue isn’t given proper importance, chances are that the current bill would meet the same fate as well.
Gambling has been accepted as an activity that can be habit forming and addictive. Several countries have thus criminalised this industry.
However, gambling like other addiction causing activities should be seen with an eye of regulation rather than that of prohibition. A complete prohibition only gives way for other illegal alternatives to grow. Illegal alternatives might not be considerate towards the people who really need counsel and help.
Regulating such avenues is beneficial for the people in two ways. First, the government authorised platforms would also provide the government with relevant data to make the system more trustworthy and accountable. Secondly, it deprives the money laundering and black money racket that boost from illegal versions of this industry. All this money can be used by the government in aiding the people and investing in public welfare.
Prohibition seldom works. However, proper legalisation and regulation can give us an opportunity to tame the bull of sports betting.