A Different Point of ViewThe British perspective on gambling.
Great Britain is probably better known for tea time, Piccadilly Circus and its lush green countryside than it is for its casinos. Yet nonetheless, casinos are a fortified institution in Britain and can be found in every major city. London in particular is home to some of the most lavish and exclusive casinos on the planet. In fact, the best London casinos are more like private gambling clubs than public casinos. They catering to a vast and wealthy international clientele of gamblers who possess exquisite tastes and demand the highest quality of service.
Typical London casinos are generally less than one tenth the size of their American counterparts and mandate a members only policy. Although membership is generally open to the public, there is a legally required period of 48 hours between the time someone registers as a member and the time they can gamble.
Another surprising difference between American and British casinos is the no alcohol policy British casinos enforce in their gaming areas. Casinos are allowed to have bars that serve alcohol in a designated restaurant area, but no one is allowed to bring even a drop of alcohol to the gaming table. The 48-hour rule and the no alcohol policy are a governmental restriction designed to protect players from gambling on a whim and from betting with impaired or compromised judgment.
Some British casinos are tastefully adorned with invaluable antiques, artwork and craftsmanship you would expect to find in Buckingham Palace rather than in a casino. But in Great Britain, casinos carry an air of dignity without the stigmas that are attached to the American casinos. Their acceptance of casino gambling has carried into the 21st century with the complete legal acceptance of online casino gambling.
The British government has decided that it is 100% legal for a player to gamble on the Internet. Players have the freedom to gamble at any online casino, and in any jurisdiction they choose. The British government also supports sports gambling and offers national licenses to British bookmakers. Licensed British bookmakers and also have the right to operate online sports books from British soil provided that they are regulated by the British Gaming Board, and pay tax. Sports betting has thus become extremely popular and illegal bookies almost non-existant. Soccer and horseracing, are two of the most popular events to bet on, and wagers can be placed online or in any of the betting shops that can be found in nearly every neighborhood.
Recently, there has been speculation that the British Gaming Board is considering licensing online casino operators. The former British colony Australia has already legalized online gambling, while South Africa, another former colony, is rumored to be doing the same. Currently, British law prohibits licensed land-based casinos from operating online casinos because gambling is only permitted to members of licensed gaming establishment while that member is within the confines that casino.
If the British government decides to license British online casino operators, it will do so under the proposition that Internet gambling is a reality and players will be better protected through regulation than by sweeping the issue under the carpet. The British government has always drafted its casino policy to protect the best interest of the gambler, and this would be no exception.
The American government on the other hand has been sweeping its Internet casino policy under the carpet. America has chosen a “wait and see” approach to Internet gambling and has not moved to explicitly regulate or outlaw its citizens from gambling online.
Despite this ambiguity, American citizens are embracing Internet casino gambling in record numbers and constitute a substantial proportion of the world’s online gambling population.
If Great Britain does adopt a policy to legalizing and regulating online casino operators from its shores, it may mark the final nail in the coffin for Internet gambling Prohibition in America. A decisive move from Britain would likely set off a chain reaction throughout Europe forcing European policymakers to consider licensing online casino operators from within their borders.
It may be too early to know for sure what the British or American Governments will decide, but you can be sure that there is a great enough public demand for online casino gambling to ensure it will have a bright future whatever their decisions.