The Economic Crisis and Online Gambling
10 May 2019 / Otra
Through the years, the media has often criticized the gambling industry. As a result, many people believe the stereotype that gambling is harmful, and just another vice that can cause addiction due to human desire (and often greed) to make easy money.
In reality, though, there’s another side to that coin. Gambling can be very beneficial to local communities that have been hit by an economic crisis. And it helps in terms of creating employment opportunities, generating tax money, and much more.
Creating Jobs for the Locals
With the opening of a new business, comes the need for hiring workers. Legalized online gambling can play a crucial role in improving the employment rate, in small cities and megalopolises alike. And since the online casino industry is open 24/7, need stuff more than the regular 9-5 businesses. This means that whenever an online operator or an iGaming software provides opens a venue, they are creating employment opportunities for the locals. From highly skilled employees to front-line workers, these companies need many people to provide front- and back-office support to players.
The gambling industry, including online casino operators, iGaming and casino software providers can be a very motiving and rewarding working environment, which encourages people to get a job and stay with the business longer. For example, online casinos offer almost all of the jobs we see in traditional casinos – their online dealers, customer support, technical (back office) support, and much, much more. So people starting as dealers can easily work they up into managerial positions.
Additionally, iGaming software providers earn significant amounts; they are able and willing to pay their workers more. Statistics show that countries, where online casinos and iGaming software operators are legal, have higher employment rate, and average salaries are also higher. Which makes it clear that this industry has a lot of potentials to bring positive (economic and societal) changes to local communities.
Giving Back to the Community
Just like any other entity, online casinos and iGaming software providers are supposed to pay taxes. Also, the players who win (big) money are required to fulfill this obligation. While tax rates vary in different countries, casinos iGaming software providers still have to pay corporate income tax, just like any other business in the country. There may also be different fees on top of the taxes. Similarly, gamblers have to give a specific amount of their winnings, which depends on the country’s laws, and types of games they play.
In addition to being taxpayers, the gambling industry can additionally help and encourage economic growth by means of organizing charities and participating fund raising events. Since gambling has a bad reputation, sportsbook and casino software providers are also supporting local initiatives aimed at improving the quality of life of other people, raising gambling addiction awareness, sponsoring gambling prevention centers, etc.
Increasing Interest in Sports
Online sports betting is a huge segment of online gambling. While it’s very profitable for the economy, it’s also helping other businesses attract more customers who are interested in a specific sports event covered by the betting agents. This includes local bars, cafes and bistros that live stream games and matches, shops that sell sports and fan merchandise. Even sports venues where gamblers can engage in their favorite sport.
Sports are present in almost every local culture, and online sports betting can additionally increase their influence and turn local sports teams and competitions into internationally known stars and events that attract tourists. A great example of this is the football leagues. Football fans regularly place bets and (most of them would) gladly travel to watch their favorite team play live.
Arguments Against Online Gambling
While we can see that legalizing online gambling can be very beneficial to local economies, there are still many opponents that speak of the social costs of gambling and the harm it does to society. They connect it with problem gambling or gambling addiction, and very often to crime, thanks to cinematic representation in the 20th century.
However, these effects have a lesser impact than the long-term economic and social benefits associated with gambling legalization. All reputable online casino operators, iGaming and sportsbook software providers have policies that address problem gambling and are actively involved in preventing it. They also contribute a substantial part of their profits to organizations that help people who are addicted to gambling to recover. Research has even shown that the expansion of online gambling has no impact on the level of addiction among players.
It’s a fact that casinos are a significant cultural phenomenon and play a big role in the lives of many people. They are a great source of fun, are present a way for people to socialize, enjoy a good time with their friends and make new ones, and on top of it all, earn some money. But very often, winning cash is not the main reason people engage in online gambling. Instead, it’s the socialization, the thrill of the game, and rush of adrenaline why people decide to enjoy this digital form of entertainment.