Gambling Facts – It’s More Than Numbers

If you are one who thinks gambling is a new activity that blossomed in Las Vegas in the 20th century, you may need to brush up on your gambling facts. To get a good idea of how large the gambling story is, try going back a couple of thousand years. You’ll see that games based on chance and the roll of dice have been always been a part of human history.

Not only did the Chinese and other populations enjoy gambling and games of chance, many Native American groups engaged in such activities long before the modern casino. Add to this the varieties of gambling carried around the world by European explorers and you have a global phenomenon of challenge and excitement. Here’s a starter fact – lotteries have even been used to raise funds for public construction projects.

o If you see 100 people on the street in a day, it’s a pretty safe bet that about 65 of them have placed a bet or made a wager in the past year.

o By many counts, profits in gambling casinos worldwide amount to $30 billion annually. Various studies report that Native American reservations host nearly 300 casinos.

History of gambling facts: The state of Nevada legalized gambling in 1931. New Jersey was the second state to make gambling legal (1976). South Dakota and Iowa followed in 1989.

o While casinos have operated in Nevada since the 1940s, the state created its Gaming Commission in 1959.

One myth that seems reluctant to die is that online gambling is not fair to players, because of casino control, less-than-random numbers and so on. Essentially, this is false. Safe-gaming software, eCommerce Online Regulation and Assurance (eCOGRA) and various licensing countries have eliminated much of the insecurity and unfair play. The myth may soon turn into one of the many Internet gambling facts.

o Casino style games are by far the most popular activity online, outnumbering sports betting 2 to 1. Lotteries and pari-mutuel betting are far down the list in percentage of online gambling activity, as are real-time online poker rooms.

o The Interstate Wire Act, passed in 1961, is a federal law that had the goal of reducing gambling activity. The law states that it is illegal in the United States to use wire communication (such as telephone) to place bets or share gambling information.

Interesting Gambling Facts: Sixty percent of online gamblers use English as their primary language. Second in line is Russian. Germany takes up position number three, according to a survey by Inland Entertainment Corporation. As for age, the numbers are close, but those between 26 and 34 play a bit more than others. One out of every five players is over the age of 45.

o In addition to online casinos, some of the most popular varieties of Web/Internet gambling are lotteries, sports books (wager on football, rugby, baseball etc.).

o According to a 2007 story in USA Today, the Venetian Macao casino was the largest in the world (on the southern tip of China). Foxwoods in Connecticut is also advertised as the world’s largest casino.

Very Interesting Gambling Facts: Video slots are generally considered the most popular online casino game. Roulette is one of the hardest games to win, while casino poker is often considered one of the easiest (with a little skill). If you can learn to count cards, you can move blackjack to the top of the “easier” list.

o There are 24 possible number combinations when a pair of dice is rolled.

o In 2003, a man won more than $39 million in a slot payout, after putting about $100 in. In 1997, a woman won $12 million in one payout.

Even More Interesting Gambling Facts: Gambling is technically legal in nearly every state, in some form. Other than the Wire Act mentioned earlier, there is little federal regulation pertaining to gambling by an individual.

Do some of your own research on gambling facts. Learn more about gambling history and surprise your friends with your knowledge of gambling statistics. It’s challenging and fun!

Politicians Want to Protect us From the Evils of On-Line Gambling Part 3

This is part 3 of a multipart series of articles regarding proposed anti-gambling legislation. In this article, I continue the discussion of the reasons claimed to make this legislation necessary, and the facts that exist in the real world, including the Jack Abramoff connection and the addictive nature of online gambling.

The legislators are trying to protect us from something, or are they? The whole thing seems a little confusing to say the least.

As mentioned in previous articles, the House, and the Senate, are once again considering the issue of “Online Gambling”. Bills have been submitted by Congressmen Goodlatte and Leach, and also by Senator Kyl.

The bill being put forward by Rep. Goodlatte, The Internet Gambling Prohibition Act, has the stated intention of updating the Wire Act to outlaw all forms of online gambling, to make it illegal for a gambling business to accept credit and electronic transfers, and to force ISPs and Common Carriers to block access to gambling related sites at the request of law enforcement.

Just as does Rep. Goodlatte, Sen. Kyl, in his bill, Prohibition on Funding of Unlawful Internet Gambling, makes it illegal for gambling businesses to accept credit cards, electronic transfers, checks and other forms of payment for the purpose on placing illegal bets, but his bill does not address those that place bets.

The bill submitted by Rep. Leach, The Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act, is basically a copy of the bill submitted by Sen. Kyl. It focuses on preventing gambling businesses from accepting credit cards, electronic transfers, checks, and other payments, and like the Kyl bill makes no changes to what is currently legal, or illegal.

In a quote from Goodlatte we have “Jack Abramoff’s total disregard for the legislative process has allowed Internet gambling to continue thriving into what is now a twelve billion-dollar business which not only hurts individuals and their families but makes the economy suffer by draining billions of dollars from the United States and serves as a vehicle for money laundering.”

There are several interesting points here.

First of all, we have a little misdirection about Jack Abramoff and his disregard for the legislative process. This comment, and others that have been made, follow the logic that; 1) Jack Abramoff was opposed to these bills, 2) Jack Abramoff was corrupt, 3) to avoid being associated with corruption you should vote for these bills. This is of course absurd. If we followed this logic to the extreme, we should go back and void any bills that Abramoff supported, and enact any bills that he opposed, regardless of the content of the bill. Legislation should be passed, or not, based on the merits of the proposed legislation, not based on the reputation of one individual.

As well, when Jack Abramoff opposed previous bills, he did so on behalf of his client eLottery, attempting to get the sale of lottery tickets over the internet excluded from the legislation. Ironically, the protections he was seeking are included in this new bill, since state run lotteries would be excluded. Jack Abramoff therefore would probably support this legislation since it gives him what he was looking for. That does not stop Goodlatte and others from using Abramoff’s recent disgrace as a means to make their bill look better, thus making it not just an anti-gambling bill, but somehow an ant-corruption bill as well, while at the same time rewarding Abramoff and his client.

Next, is his statement that online gambling “hurts individuals and their families”. I presume that what he is referring to here is problem gambling. Let’s set the record straight. Only a small percentage of gamblers become problem gamblers, not a small percentage of the population, but only a small percentage of gamblers.

In addition, Goodlatte would have you believe that Internet gambling is more addictive than casino gambling. Sen. Kyl has gone so far as to call online gambling “the crack cocaine of gambling”, attributing the quote to some un-named researcher. To the contrary, researchers have shown that gambling on the Internet is no more addictive than gambling in a casino. As a matter of fact, electronic gambling machines, found in casinos and race tracks all over the country are more addictive than online gambling.

In research by N. Dowling, D. Smith and T. Thomas at the School of Health Sciences, RMIT University, Bundoora, Australia “There is a general view that electronic gaming is the most ‘addictive’ form of gambling, in that it contributes more to causing problem gambling than any other gambling activity. As such, electronic gaming machines have been referred to as the ‘crack-cocaine’ of gambling”.