ow to Stop an Online Gambling Addiction

Now even though gambling online is used mostly for entertainment purposes the advantage of earning cash may cause an individual to get addicted. You see it only takes one time for an individual to hit the jackpot when gambling online and they can almost immediately become hooked on the euphoria of winning. Now as with any addiction the individuals who have the problem always claim that they can stop when they want to and deny having a problem, however if you follow these straightforward steps you just might be able to stop the addiction of gambling online.

Step one, in our attempt to stop a gambling online addiction is, admit that you have a gambling online problem to yourself and your family and accept that you need help to stop. Step two if you are using a credit card to pay for your addiction of gambling online then cancel the card. You can ruin a good credit rating and may get yourself into so much debt that you may not be able to pay it back.

Step three, contact Gamblers Anonymous for counseling services as well as online support, this step is very crucial as it would allow you to see if you can overcome your addiction. Also remember there is no shame in attending these meetings because you are taking a positive step to dealing with your addiction. Step four, once you have found a GA group in your area make it a point to attend meeting at least weekly, it will make it a lot easy for you to overcome your gambling online addiction as you will see that there are many other individuals with the same problem you have and if they can manage to kick the habit then so can you.

Step five, you need to reduce all contact with these gambling online games, so what you need to do is visit the website ‘Gameblock’ and download the software which allows you to block all gambling online sites. Step six, find another activity that would replace the time you would usually spend on these gambling online games, for instances you can take up exercise, you can read or spend more time with your family. The final step, step seven, even though you are attending the gamblers anonymous group what you could do is make an appointment to visit a therapist as gambling online can be a substitute for something that is lacking in your life. In closing, remember that we are all humans, and we all make mistakes in life what separates us is those who recognize they have a problem and get help, so do it today.

Online Gambling

Internet Casinos Inc. (ICI), the world’s first online casino, started operating from August 18, 1995, with 18 different games. Since then more than 1,400 websites, mostly domiciled in small Caribbean islands, have given rise to an industry that grosses over $3 billion a year. In fact no business on the Internet earns more revenue than online gambling. Out of the estimated 14.5 million online gamblers, almost 30 per cent are from Asia.

A bet can be placed in minutes. Anyone with a credit card can set up an offshore currency account with a gambling site, leaving them free to place bets on sporting events like Wimbledon, cricket, horse racing and Formula One, or join a virtual casino to play slot machines, roulette, blackjack, poker etc. Companies like Flutter and Betmart accept bets on anything from who is going to win the Nobel Prize to whether Madonna is getting a divorce or not. Bets can range from a nickel to thousands of dollars and according to whether you win or lose the amount is automatically adjusted to your account. The final balance can then either be mailed to you or left for future bets.

The law relating to online gambling in India needs to be understood within the country’s socio-cultural context. At the outset, gambling, although not absolutely prohibited in India, does not receive express encouragement by policy makers. The Indian organized gambling industry is estimated to be worth around US$8 billion. While stringent laws have checked the proliferation of casinos and high street gaming centres as in many other countries, barring the state of Goa, the lottery business remains the most post popular form of gambling.

Though gambling is not illegal, it is a highly controlled and regulated activity. Modern India is a quasi-federal Constitutional democracy and the powers to legislate are distributed at the federal as well as the state levels. Gambling features in List II of the Constitution of India, this implies that the state governments have the authority to enact laws in order to regulate gambling in the respective states. Thus, there is no single law governing gambling in the entire country. Different states have different laws governing gambling in addition to the laws that have an application across the country. While some states have banned lotteries, other states allow state government lotteries marketed and distributed in other lottery playing and promoting states through private entities.

Regulation of gambling

The courts have defined gambling as ‘the payment of a price for a chance to win a prize’. The dominant element of skill or chance shall determine the nature of the game. A game may be deemed to be gambling if the element of chance or luck predominates in deciding its outcome. As a result, Indian courts have held that betting on horse racing and a few card games are not gambling. The right to undertake the business of gambling and lotteries is not considered as a fundamental right protected by the Constitution of India. It may however be pointed out that the state government run lotteries make significant contributions to the state exchequer of several state governments and the Union government, and hence there is a resistance to complete prohibition.

The following legislation is pertinent to gambling:

The Public Gaming Act, 1867

This Act provides punishment for public gambling and for keeping of a ‘common gaming house’. This Act also authorises the state governments to enact laws to regulate public gambling in their respective jurisdictions. The penal legislations in respective states have been amended in accordance with their policy on gambling. However, this legislation does not have any direct impact on online gambling unless a wide interpretation is given to the definition of common gaming house so as to include virtual forums as well.

The Indian Contract Act, 1872 (ICA)

The ICA is a codified umbrella legislation that governs all commercial contracts in India. Under the ICA, a wagering contract is the one which cannot be enforced. The Act lays down; ‘Agreements by way of wager are void, and no suit shall be brought for recovering anything alleged to be won on any wager or entrusted to any person to abide by the result of any game or other uncertain event on which any wager is made’. Gambling, lottery and prize games have held to be wagering contracts and thus void and unenforceable. While a wagering contract is not illegal, it cannot be enforced in a court of law. Thus, the courts will not entertain any cause of action that arises out of a wagering contract.

Lotteries (Regulation) Act, 1998

This Act provides a framework for organizing lotteries in the country. Under this Act, the state governments have been authorized to promote as well as prohibit lotteries within their territorial jurisdiction. This Act also provides for the manner in which the lotteries are to be conducted and prescribes punishment in case of breach of its provision. Lotteries not authorized by the state have been made an offence under the Indian Penal Code. Several non-lottery playing states, like Gujarat and Uttar Pradesh, have prohibited the sale of other state-government lotteries under this Act.

Indian Penal Code, 1860

Section 294A deals with keeping lottery office. It says that whoever keeps any office or place for the purpose of drawing any lottery not being a State lottery or a lottery authorised by the State Government, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to six months, or with fine, or with both.

And whoever publishes any proposal to pay any sum, or to deliver any goods, or to do or forbear doing anything for the benefit of any person, on any event or contingency relative or applicable to the drawing of any ticket, lot, number or figure in any such lottery, shall be punished with fine which may extend to one thousand rupees.

Internet gambling

The law related to gambling is also applicable to online gambling. All gambling contracts are considered to be wagering contracts and it is not possible to enforce such contracts under the ICA, detailed above.

As pointed out earlier, the online lottery is the most popular form of internet gambling in India. Most companies marketing and distributing or conducting state government-sponsored lotteries through the internet are not allowed to sell their services in the states that banned lotteries. In most cases, these marketers and distributors limit their online services to consumers who are residents of the states where a lottery is permissible. Notwithstanding the fact there has been no reported case of breach by any company promoting online lotteries, most of these companies (as a safeguard) seek an undertaking from their consumers relating to their residence.

There have been instances where one state has banned the lottery of other states, including online lotteries. In a recent case, the Karnatka High Court upheld the decision of the Karnataka government to make itself a ‘lottery free zone’ by imposing a ban on lotteries of all other states, including online lotteries under the Lotteries (Regulation) Act 1998. The state government, in this case, directed the closure of the terminals and kiosks selling the online lotteries.

Enforcement over foreign jurisdictions

If the websites are hosted and operated from outside India, it may be difficult for the Indian authorities to issue any directive to close them down or prohibit their access without using its blocking powers under the ITA. The authorities have little to worry about, as Indian foreign exchange laws do not permit remittances outside India for gambling related activity, such as the purchase of lottery tickets, football pools and sweepstakes. As a result, a gambling website hosted outside India aiming at receiving money from within India cannot do so through legal channels.

Conclusion

Online gambling remains a highly regulated sector with seemingly limited horizons to grow. While the present regulatory framework makes it difficult for offshore gambling websites to target customers in India, the India-based companies can only distribute and market state-government lotteries online in permitted territories. The pervasive authority with the government to block gambling related websites and the impossibility of enforcing gambling-related contracts further discourage the prospects for the industry.

Online Gambling Versus Traditional Gambling

There are many different forms of gambling from betting at the horse races or for your favourite sports teams or trying your chance at a casino game. And with today’s age of the computer you can gamble online at any of the many online sporting or casino websites. So how does online gambling compare to traditional gambling.

For starters, online gambling can be done in the comfort of your own home providing you have a computer with an active internet connection and use of a credit or debit card. And so there is little or no travel involved. Traditional gambling requires travel to the gambling site. And many people have enjoyed a gambling opportunity at Las Vegas or Atlantic City or just at their local casino or race track.

Secondly, you have to join up with the gambling website you are interested which means filling in a form and is usually free. You do not have to join or fill in any of your details with traditional gambling.

Thirdly, you can concentrate completely on your online game because there are no noisy people, no cigarette smoke and no drunken people which could annoy you. You have the peace and quiet of your own home if you desire. However with traditional gambling you are around like minded people doing the same thing and this creates atmosphere. It is a chance to get out and socialise with friends and have an enjoyable outing.

Fourthly, as each online website is competing against each other then they offer bonuses in order to entice people to join their website. And the bonuses can be large depending on the amount of money you bid eg large amounts of money or free holiday somewhere.
Do you get bonuses at traditional gambling locations? No

Fifthly, with online gambling websites, you are not obliged to tip employees. In real casinos for example, you will be obliged to tip waiters, dealers and other employees for a better service. This however could vary between different countries.

Sixthly, the online casino gambling experience may even surpass the physical casino experience as they have very strict rules and regulations.

Lastly, on online gambling websites your money is safe in the account you set up as they have high security. This is as long as you have taken your own safety precautions with antispyware and antivirus protection installed on your computer and that you have joined a licensed and regulated online gambling website. With traditional gambling you could run the risk of your money being stolen, so you just need to look after your money carefully.

These are the seven points comparing online gambling with traditional gambling. They each have a place depending on whether you want to go out for the night with friends or gamble quietly in your own home for as little or long as you like.