History and government control of (online) gambling

We already regularly posted articles on the history of gambling on  this website. This often concerned an early history. For example, the history of slots , playing cards and words. Sometimes a history that dates back to long before 1900.

But of course there is also recent history for the past 35 years. Just look at the changes in slots during that period. Mechanical cabinets have been quickly replaced by digital video slots  with numerous possibilities for attractive games. Which can also be played at home.

And thanks to increased globalization, physical slots and online games have spread across the world at lightning speed. In principle, interested parties can now play the same games everywhere. With slot machines we then only name one part. Much more important than the appearance of roulette gambling , slot machines and the like, however, is something else that characterizes recent history.

Income source

With the increase in gambling opportunities, gambling became an important source of income for several countries. Or, if a country did not yet have proper control over gambling among its inhabitants, a reason to look at gambling laws and regulations . In 2001, global gambling revenue was over $ 200 billion. That grew at a fairly constant percentage per year to just under 400 billion in 2010. This year, partly due to the dip due to corona, it will amount to just over 500 billion dollars.

If we are not yet properly monitored, we can think of online gambling in the Netherlands as an example. Online gambling is prohibited in the Netherlands, so Dutch people who want to play turn to foreign providers. The Dutch economy earns nothing from the money they spend there. That has to change with the announced legislative changes. But with what arguments? Of course not complaining about loss of income. No, anthropologists looking at recent history saw different arguments.

Changed world

Anthropologists are interested in how people interact with each other and the world around them, and how they give meaning to their lives. They look at all facets. Even when they are researching a part, eg a gambler’s dialect in Tahiti. Then they look at a much wider area. With the example in mind therefore also to the history, economic developments, religious practices, politics and more on Tahiti.

Some anthropologists worldwide have looked at the recent history of gambling in recent years. In particular, they saw that concepts such as responsible gambling, consumer protection and the like were increasingly used in the arguments of governments.

Ultimately, all arguments around ‘preventing all kinds of problematic gambling behavior ‘ turned out to stem mainly from the desire to secure gambling income. Or to ensure that a country itself can profit from the gambling behavior of its inhabitants. So the gambling income.

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