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For a Silicon Vegas

With online casinos offering more and more languages for users in more and more countries, the question arises as to what the near future holds in store for the online casino industry. This question focuses not on the legal issues, but regional ones: where will the online casino industry find its strongest base of operations as the industry gains acceptance and legitimacy around the world. Will there be a “Silicon Vegas” of online gambling, or will so-called “tax havens” spread out across the planet continue to serve as individual or multiple bases without there being any one notable center of online gambling, similar to the situation of Indian gaming in the U.S.?

The problem with online casino gambling is that since it is a product of an increasingly “globalized” world, basing different online casinos in different countries without there being any one real center makes regulation of the industry harder, and thus acceptance in countries wary of the appearance given by online casino companies as a result of this difficulty of regulation will be that much more difficult to attain. Granted, online casino companies have taken it upon themselves to self-regulate as much as possible, but that can only do so much, have so much of an effect, and might do little to convince governments like that of the United States that online casino companies can be trusted.

It would behoove the online casino industry to create a sort of “Silicon Vegas” somewhere in the world that has an aura of legitimacy surrounding being based there, such as in London (where a new gambling commission hopes to create a situation that reverses the current policy of online gambling’s legality in the UK but inability to base servers there) rather than in a location like Antigua, which gives the impression of avoiding laws rather than a willingness to adhere to them. This would be not only for the good of the online casino industry, but for all of those who want to use online casino games but can’t at the moment. The world waits.

OCA News Editor

Jenny McKinnley is OCA’s financial correspondent. After spending years on the trading floor in both NY and London, she offers insight from the inside out on world financial news and events.