By Bretton Love
Legal regulations pertaining to online casino in the United States differs from one state to another.
Although online casino poker, sports betting, lottery games, and other gambling activities are legalized in many states, various other states have declined to legalize online gambling. One particular state in which online betting is still not allowed yet but is obtaining pressure from the legalization of online betting is the New York City.
For a long period of time, casino activities have been prohibited in New York City. The state is traditionally recognized to have some of the most strict gambling regulations in the USA. As a matter of fact, the city’s betting regulation has a sophisticated checklist of betting offenses and charges.
Because of that, New York City does not have a lot of establishments providing gambling activities. In the last few years, however, there have been actions to make an effort and authorize casino gaming, specifically, online betting throughout this area. In this article, you will have an idea if New York should really legalize online gambling.
Gambling Policy in New York City
What is Legal?
Essentially, just like citizens playing online casino games in Canada, New York City’s gaming regulation does not criminalize its citizens from taking part in online casinos. Therefore, someone living in the city can participate in online activities of poker websites, sports gambling websites, and other online gambling establishments without having to stress about experiencing prosecution or being penalized by the federal government.
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What is Not Legal?
What is against the law, however, is operating an online gaming website inside the jurisdiction of the state. For that reason, the majority of online gambling establishments that provide their services to New York’s citizens are found in other states or overseas.
Online gambling establishments managing throughout the state offer varied services. An example of this is that few establishments offer gamers with an extensive series of betting games, while others are much more specified, entirely concentrating on, for instance, online poker, sports gambling, etc.
As time passes by, city locals could be sure there will never be a shortage of options for online gambling games. Every day, a growing number of gambling establishments are set up to satisfy the increasing demands of the ever-rising number of online casino players.
A Caveat to Online Casino Players
Consequently, New Yorkers should carry out their own due diligence in advance of heading into an online casino website. It is extremely important unless appropriate government policies are implemented. Besides, the United Kingdom and many other countries have presently revealed this to become feasible by enhancing the online gaming regulations in an attempt to render it more secure and fairer. Also, a number of factors to keep an eye out for in this concern involve customer service, quality, fair odds, and their certificate to operate.
Why Should New York Legalize Online Gambling?
NYC’s Opportunity Costs Regarding Strict Online Gambling Policies is Estimated to be Millions and people are gambling anyways on illegal offshore online gambling sites, without any protection for the players.
In a report by Action Network, they stated that New York City has been losing around $203 million to $286 million due to its strict online gambling policies. Their report was published around February 2020, which is before the start of the lockdown of the city. From the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, we can already observe its damages to the economy through the lockdowns of some states. Therefore, the opportunity costs of New York City’s strict implementation of gambling policies might be higher than the estimate of the Action Network.
Currently, we can observe that having an online platform for services that provide necessities is a must like Grab Food and other essential online services. With this in mind, we can visualize that entrepreneurs can take advantage of this current situation by diving into the online network to provide services. And this is where the online gambling services come in. Since New York has declined to allow gambling establishments to operate online, the city is losing potential tax earnings, which could help with the pandemic situation.
Moreover, with the city’s budget deficit of $6 million, New York State Senator Joseph Addabbo proposed to legalize the online gambling industry in the city in order to make up with the city’s depleted budget. When compared to other cities with legalized online gambling activities, it is found that those states had earned a lot of money. Specifically, New Yorkers who bets on other cities such as New Jersey was found that the total bets made amounted to $837 million on sports betting alone. The data suggest that net revenue could be $57 million after deducting the winning payouts for the players, which would give the city a tax earning of $6.2 million. Therefore, with its strict policies, New York has lost $6.2 million, and the data showed was just only one city.
New York Citizens Demands Legalization of Online Gambling
According to a survey initiated by City and State New York, one-third of its residents have voted to legalize online gambling in the state. Gambling has been a part of people’s lives in New York. They spend a lot of money in gambling, more specifically, sports betting. A lot of individuals stated that they are having a hard time with the current New York regulations towards gambling. They have to travel to a different state in order to do gambling, which hassles them given our current situation with the coronavirus today. Others stated that they do not know if they are breaking the law by betting on international illegal gambling websites; however, they still bet on the sites.
Moreover, other individuals are optimistic that online gambling will be soon be legalized in New York because of the $6 million budget deficit. As mentioned earlier, the city is looking for more sources of revenue. In which, one of the industries they can tap into is the online gambling industry. This can surely help the city’s tax revenue to continually increase even after the lockdown because of the growing demand for online gambling.
Why Should New York Not Legalize Online Gambling?
Gambling always carries the risk of losing a huge amount of money. Although both physical gambling and online gambling carries this fact, the two of them are not exactly the same. Let’s look at some of the pros and cons of legalizing in New York.
Offshore Online Casinos Carries the Risk of Being Scammed
Some OffShore online gambling establishments might be secure and trustworthy. However, the fact is players from New York are regularly cheated for their winnings, and they have no legal protection against scams, manipulation of odds, or other unfair behavior from the offshore gambling sites.
Compared to physical casinos like the ones in New Jersey, these are licensed and heavily regulated, which means you can be sure that it is secured and trustworthy. Any forms of cheating or fraudulent activities are easily detected because of the establishment’s security cameras and guards.
This is one of the disadvantages of OffShore illegal online casinos where everyone is gambling now. If ever New York City has devised a plan to make sure that online gambling websites are regulated and safe, they can then amend the law without worrying about the consequences of fraudulent activities occurring online.
Online Casinos Can Be Massively Addictive
As with any other vices, gambling is heavily addictive. But what happens if you can access it remotely? The answer depends on every individual. However, in general, if you are an addict who loses a lot of money gambling in land-based casinos. Then, this is bad for you. If you were unable to control your urge to gamble in a casino and your only time to stop is when you’re not around it, chances of you accessing gambling websites remotely are high. But many problem gamblers are already doing this on OffShore gambling sites where there is no protection at all.
Although enabling the operation of online casinos will surely give the city a huge revenue, if we look at it in ethics, it is unethical if a lot of people will suffer from addiction. One suggestion to eliminate this disadvantage is to incorporate a system of preventing a problem gambler from online gambling for long periods like Denmark and the UK have done.
Even though gambling is still prohibited in New York, there is progress done by lawmakers. In a bid to increase the tax revenue of the city, lawmakers see this as an opportunity to recover from the budget deficit.
Legalizing online casinos has its own advantages and disadvantages. The only way to correctly implement online gambling is to minimize its disadvantages and maximize its advantages. For instance, New York should regulate all online gambling websites by regularly checking its activities and making sure that their licenses are up to date to ensure that the website is certified and preventing potential scams from occurring. In terms of addiction, online gambling websites can be required to develop a system so players can ban themselves from playing at the casinos.
As mentioned earlier, New Jersey has seen a steady increase in tax revenues because of online gambling. Taking advantage of the opportunity is a must to overcome the city’s budget deficit and protect against offshore gambling websites. New York is safe to base its regulations on New Jersey because online gambling is already working effectively in New Jersey.