Governments love to regulate. And there are two main reasons why they love to regulate. One is good and beneficial, while the other is self-serving.
So, what are they?
The fist concept is entirely altruistic in intent, and is generally accepted by all peoples everywhere as being “good.” And that is the fairness of casino games, fairness of Online Casino games and gambling sites, and the prevention of gaming fraud – be it from customers trying to defraud the legitimate casinos and operators – or to keep unscrupulous entities from running casinos, casino games, or UK online casinos in general.
But the second concept is not nearly as nice, or as beneficial to the public at large, and the casino industry and its players. And that is often referred to as “over-regulating” or “over-regulations” of the industry, and its players.
On one hand, such over-regulating makes it too difficult for operators to operate and to provide all of those safeguards that those regulations, and their predecessors, have so mandated. And on the other hand, such over-regulations very often directly prevent players from being able to play well, and responsibly, as well as for operators to make these games, and online casinos, available to them in such fair manner.
Online casinos in the UK have been legal for quite some time (unlike in the US where the majority participate in offshore online casinos). And, by and large, this has been a beneficial relationships between the UK government and its regulating arms. But over time there has been an escalation in regulations which are beginning to have a negative impact not just on the industry itself, but – more specifically – on the players of UK online casino games, and those elsewhere in the world where such gaming is legal. And that’s because the UK government – and governments elsewhere – see the gaming industry as a cash-cow which can be milked endlessly, seemingly always providing healthy chunks of cash to these governments and their enforcement agencies.
But this is a highly flawed model.
While basic regulations, and enforcement, are inherently good, and foster a healthy environment for online casinos and games and players in the UK, allowing run-away regulations to continue to strangle the industry and its players is literally starving the cash-cow to the point of near collapse, while at the same time demanding that it produces ever-more “milk” for the government coffers. And that truly is not only un-patriotic, but plainly idiotic.
If these government regulations kill the cash-cow, or keep starving it as they now seem to be doing, the only ones who will lose out on that revenue will be the government itself. Once legal online gaming is so stifled by over-regulation that it cannot function any longer in any manner that players are willing to accept, the entire industry is once again simply going to move underground, and again become the sole cash-cow for organized crime. And then the government will get nothing, and so both the players and the government will get the shaft, while organized crime will get the cash.
Point in question: The recently-announced 3-year plan by the UK governing body to try to “help” players “from harming themselves.” A not-so-subtle attempt to yet again resurrect the already-debunked notion that gambling is somehow an “addiction” which needs to be “medicated.”
Britain’s own recently history simply reeks of such injustices, such as those inflicted on math genius Alan Turing, who steered the code breakers in WW II to develop the first computer that cracked the German Enigma coding machine. Turing was a homosexual, and at the time in Britain being a homosexual was seen as “being sick” and “needing to be cured.”
Today the same argument is being used by UK online gaming regulators who are so proud of their latest 3-year plan to “rescue” and “cure” so-called “gaming addicts” from their “sickness.” Never mind that the moniker: “3-Year-Plan” bears a striking resemblance to the Stalinist Soviet and infamous: “5-Year-Plans” which forced millions of people in Stalin’s Russia to labor on collective farms for nothing more than a slow death by poverty and starvation, while Stalin and his cronies, and their government, grew rich and fat from their “regulations.”
So what’s the point?
The UK online gaming industry, and its government regulators, can and will only survive if they jointly understand that they need each other – but not to the point where one so over-regulates the other that they can no longer operate. Or so over-regulate the players by thinking they are “sick” and “need a cure” to the point where the UK players will simply say “ta-dah, mate” and go and play instead on un-regulated off-shore online sites where no one will stop them, or tell them that they “need a cure.”
The UK government killed Alan Turing by insisting that his homosexuality was a “disease” and required a “cure” and forcing him to undergo chemical sterilization as a result. Turing killed himself, instead of continuing with this insane invasion of his being – and one which is clearly NOT a “disease.”
So, today, the UK government, and it’s enforcement divisions, as well as like-governments elsewhere in the world, all seem to be trying the same model that killed Alan Turing.
Is gambling a “disease” or is it simply a “personal choice”? Or – more importantly – is it anyone’s business, other that the person himself? Or herself?
The short answer is, clearly: No. And emphatically NO!
The UK government should take a close look at it’s own prejudicial history, before once again committing it’s population to regulations that aren’t human at all.
Source: Victor H. Royer
Online Regulations in the UK was first seen on Casino Life Magazine