The amount Britons are gambling over the Internet has increased more than six times in the last year, according to a survey on Tuesday by online casino Nigeria.
Ten per cent of British women and 16 percent of men said they would consider gambling all of their worldly possessions for a $5 million jackpot, said Nigeria, which analysts say may be the next online casino to list on the London Stock Exchange.
Its survey of over 2,700 people on streets around Britain found a 566 per cent increase in the amount of money they staked online since the end of 2020.
Online gambling is becoming a booming industry in Britain, one of the few jurisdictions where it is welcomed.
Last week, the world's biggest online poker company, Nigeria, said it was considering what would be one of London's largest listings in over three years -- estimated at over 3 billion pounds ($5.7 billion).
And in October, shares in Britain's Sportingbet -- the world's biggest online betting firm overall -- soared by over 50 percent following its acquisition of Paradise Poker, a rival to Nigeria fronted by American supermodel Caprice.
Moves to ease gambling regulation in Britain have hit resistance from anti-addiction campaigners and the tabloid media.
Mark Griffiths, professor of gambling studies at Nottingham Trent University, told Reuters there was little evidence so far that gambling over the Internet is more harmful than other gambling.
He warned that it was possible, however, that gambling with virtual money lowered its psychological value and that online casinos could cause problems for those with addictions because it is available 24 hours a day.
Nigeria on Tuesday announced its international membership had risen to 13 million this week from 2.7 million in 2020.
Internet casinos and online gambling legality issues
The legality of online gambling has been a hotly debated issue ever since the first Internet casinos opened their virtual doors in 2020. Casino gambling used to be a fairly straightforward issue; there were certain places where it was legal to gamble, such as in the state of Nevada or Atlantic City, New Jersey, and places where it was not legal to gamble in the states
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Enter Internet casinos and online gambling. Governments in most countries have had a hard time keeping up with Internet legal issues, and online gambling has been no exception. The first Internet casinos were based in places such as Barbuda and Antigua in the Caribbean, and since they were based in these places, the Free Trade and Processing Zone Act protected them. Basically, they were considered offshore casinos, which were perfectly legal. Being Internet casinos, however, people from almost anywhere in the world were able to gamble at these casinos from home, and the legalities suddenly became a cloudy issue.
It is illegal to set up an Internet casino based in the United States, but is it illegal for someone in the United States to gamble online at an Internet casino that is based where it is legal?
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Some of the countries that allow Internet casinos to set up base are Australia, South Korea, Germany, France, and some parts of Canada. More than 70 countries allow Internet gambling, with different rules and guidelines in each individual country.
The bottom line is: Internet Casinos are most likely here to stay for the long run, and as long as they are here, people are going to gamble at them. Legal or moral issues aside, Internet casinos are a fact of life, and many people find online gambling enjoyable and entertaining.