Online Gambling is Taking The World by Storm
The age of the Internet has opened the doors to a multitude of previously undreamed-of possibilities. You can find the answers to virtually any question you can think to ask – a wide range of opinions. Currencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum are taking markets on rags to riches and back again roller coaster rides.
You can start apartment or house hunting without actually traveling anywhere, whether it’s a neighborhood or state or country or continent change. Anyone with a smartphone has access to the details of natural disasters, acts of war, celebrity shenanigans, and developments in world politics within a few minutes after they happen. NASDAQ stock trading and weather forecasts are in the palm of your hand.
The love of gambling, too, is no longer limited by physical presence in set locations. People don’t need to brave the late nights and seedy underground dens anymore just to get in on some gambling action and the potential to win big. What’s more, the variety of options in terms of the kinds of betting have expanded by leaps and bounds.
When it comes to traditional gambling, the laws and their many iterations are seemingly endless. It’s legal in many countries, restricted in some, and entirely banned in others. Of course, that all applies to gambling in general, but even more so to online gambling, where the lines become increasingly blurred and difficult to define. Some forms are permitted in person but not online; others are allowed online but not in person. In the United States, there’s even more complication due to the variation in laws from state to state.
As more and more aspects of our daily lives become enmeshed in the available options on the Internet, online gambling has become and continues to grow as a booming industry. Read on to discover just how much the world of online gambling has changed.
There’s a clear picture that we can all imagine almost instantly when prompted – crowds of onlookers pushing, shouting, jeering, all gathered around with tickets clenched in their fists. At the center of the rowdy circle is a pair of sweaty, bloodied men: it’s an early boxing match, primitive, without an actual boxing ring, gloves, or any of the other accessories – and although there are more safety regulations in place today, the attraction remains very much the same.
As human beings, we are naturally inclined to enjoy fights (think Gladiator), or competitions at the very least, situations in which we see individuals of superior skill, brute strength, and inherent talent come up against one another. Sports betting comes in many forms – one of the most popular, of course, is fights.
On August 26, 2017, Floyd Mayweather Jr. made professional boxing history in his highly-anticipated fight with Conor McGregor. For Mayweather, it was the 50th victory in a streak untouched by defeat. The fight generated $55,414,865.79 in revenue on 13,231 tickets for an average of $4,188.26 per ticket, and Showtime Sports reported that the Mayweather vs. McGregor fight generated 4.3 million domestic pay-per-view buys and more than $600 million in revenue. Boxing is no longer just for boxing fans – as the Mayweather-McGregor match demonstrated as well as the legendary Floyd Mayweather vs. Manny Pacquiao match two years prior. It’s become a household event – with families and friends throwing parties to view the match together.
The more mainstream sense of sports betting involves your everyday sports. Rabidly loyal sports fans who have grown up following their teams can spout off facts, statistics, personal details, and more about all their favorite players. They know these players, managers, and teams inside and out. There’s already a high level of emotional investment simply in following a sport or team – just ask any big sports fan. Online sports betting has upped the ante – sportsbooks like Unibet, Betfair, and Bet365 are just a few of the major ones that enthusiasts can use to place bets based on their knowledge about different teams.
Today, as of the publication date of this article, sports betting in the US remains limited. A 1992 federal law, made sports betting illegal across the united states, with the exception of Nevada Oregon, Delaware and Montana. All that, however, looks set to change. The law, titled the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act, looks set be ruled an unconstitutional violation of state’s rights in a highly anticipated US Supreme court case verdict set to be handed down this spring. That has had lawmakers across the country scrambling to draft legalized sports betting laws to tap into the action.
Another form of sports betting that’s less well-established but is growing exponentially in popularity is fantasy sports. Fantasy sports encompasses a wide range of competitions in which sports fans act as managers who “draft” virtual teams from among the players in a league. The individual players’ real-life performance dictates the number of points earned by the participant’s virtual team. Yahoo! Sports is particularly popular for fans in the United States – it hosts a particularly comprehensive spread of fantasy sports options not limited to but including hockey, American football, baseball, basketball, and even auto racing. While Yahoo and other fantasy sports organizations don’t offer betting opportunities, different organizations like FantasyBet and Draft Kings have sprung up, giving fans another way to take advantage of their insight into different players.
Similar to boxing where opponents are pitted against each other a violent and brutal manner, blood sports are still a phenomenon around the world. “Blood sport” is defined as a sport that involves the injuring or killing of animals. A clear example that comes to mind is bullfighting, where bull is pitted against matador. Two others are dogfighting and cockfighting, fights between two roosters.
In 2008, cockfighting was banned in Louisiana, the last of the fifty states to outlaw it. In other parts of the world, however, it’s still legal – including in Puerto Rico. In both dogfighting and cockfighting, the animals are specifically bred to be strong, aggressive, and ruthless. These primal sports remain popular in many places, in spite of many harsh criticisms regarding cruelty and ethics.
You’d be hard-pressed to find a website that allows dogfighting, as it’s the form of blood sport that has received the most pushback over the years. Some online sportsbooks do provide the option of betting on bullfights in addition to regular sports. However, you’ll find a shocking number of cockfighting websites where accounts can be easily created to place bets online. They involve real-time cockfights that are held in the Philippines, allowing bettors in other locations to get involved virtually.
As you’re already aware, perhaps one of the most famous of all forms of online gambling is poker. However, online poker hasn’t made much headway in the United States due to legality issues. Unfortunately for poker fans, at this time, there are only three states in the United States where online poker has been legalized: Nevada, Delaware and New Jersey. The most highly recommended online poker organizations are 888poker, Borgata Review, and World Series of Poker Nevada. However, there is another option for players across the country: Global Poker. It’s the first online poker site that is both legal and secure when it comes to financial transactions.
While typical forms of poker are difficult to play online legally, the many variants of video poker available at online casinos can satisfy that urge to play. Check out the selection of fantastic video poker games you can play for fun or real money right here.
The field of eSports is one of the more recent developments in the world of online gambling, one that perhaps no one could have predicted. The name is deceptive, though it makes sense upon closer inspection. The sound of the term “electronic sports” might lead you to believe that it’s a new variation of sports betting that involves participation from the bettors online, perhaps something similar to fantasy sports betting mentioned earlier.
However, this relates to an activity in stark contrast to what you might expect. Here, “sport” relates to the original term that indicated a pastime or entertainment – which you might recognize from alternate names for it: competitive gaming or professional video gaming. The field of pro video gaming saw a boost in the late 2000s, when there was a shift from amateur to professional tournaments.
The players involved are seriously dedicated professionals. Of course, the skill set involved in being a successful gamer and a successful athlete are extremely different, but these professionals take their craft seriously, practicing for hours upon hours every day.
The development of the pro video gaming field shows that the lazy, anti-social stereotype that many people have previously scoffed has developed and expanded into a world of its own. These games often require and improve players’ abilities when it comes to critical thinking, reaction time, perseverance, coordination, and problem solving. Games that involve cooperating with other players build up leadership skills like teamwork and effective communication.
Sites like Pinnacle are specifically designated for eSports betting. Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, League of Legends, Overwatch, Starcraft 2, and Defense of the Ancients 2 are among the most popular games to bet on. However, perhaps the most telling indication that eSports is being taken seriously is that the major athletic sportsbook Betway actually includes eSports as well.
As a clear sign of the times, the first major, permanent esports areana on the Las Vegas strip is set to open next month. The Esports Arena Las Vegas by MGM Resorts International will accommodate live gamers and take bets on an industry that is projected to grow to $1.2 billion by 2020.
Perhaps most noteworthy of all is the modern take on the classic casino. Though the world of online casinos may not have undergone as drastic a change as video gaming, it offers advantages to players of all backgrounds and interests. The sparkling, luxurious iconic institution that’s admired and loved by so many with its smoothly shuffled decks at blackjack tables, cocktail waitresses with martinis, scores of electronic gaming machines.
Online, casinos transform into something entirely new and different from their land-based counterparts. They have the same positive qualities while adding a range of new benefits. Slots of Vegas is an online casino that offers your favorite casino games plus a wide range of even more new options for you to explore, mobility, convenience, and unlimited opportunities to try out and practice games for free.
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While you won’t get waited on for drinks or interact with other players around the table as you might at any place on the Las Vegas Strip, it also means you don’t have to pay for overpriced drinks to justify your presence at a casino or deal with unruly and aggressive fellow players.
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Originally from Grand Rapids, Michigan, Nicole studied economics at the University of Chicago before moving to Singapore, where she ended up as a financial analyst at Nomura covering the southeast Asia casino markets. After many years of crunching numbers, Nicole finally decided it was time to switch careers and follow her life long dream of being a writer. Today Nicole regularly blogs on casino related topics while working on her first book, a non-fiction history of the rise of casino gambling in Macau. In her free time Nicole loves to swim, mountain bike and ride horses.