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New Online Casino Definitions for New Gambling World

With the world changing its view on online casino gambling, and countries are starting to examine the implications of internet gambling legislation as oppose to online casino regulation, new and important notions come to light. Although politicians and legislators are keen on forming laws and bills that cover the ‘online gambling industry’, no one really sat down and took the time to explain what gambling really is. Is poker considered gambling? Is backgammon gambling? There are no straight answered to these questions, and the laws that refer to online casino gambling are vague and usually misinterpreted. If people do not know what gambling really is, how can they ban it?

Most people believe that gambling refers to games where luck and chance are the two main players. If you play a game where winning and losing can be decided only by your fortune, then you are gambling. That’s the widespread assumption. But then again, what game is subjected to the above description? The United States recently accepted anti online casino legislation that poses this very problem. While the creators of the bill clearly had poker in mind when thinking about online casino games, the bill refers to gambling alone, and many people think that playing poker is not a gamble. The world of online casino gambling is highly diverse and there are dozens of different gambling types. It is almost impossible to tell whether luck is the only contributor to success, or maybe skill is also involved.

If poker is a game of skill, and players that train and perfect their game have a better chance at winning, then poker can be considered as sports – and therefore playing online casino poker isn’t gambling. Looking at poker in this way means that the new Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act that was enacted in the U.S. does not ban online casino poker. A similar situation exists in other countries as well. Israel, for example, bans online casino operation, but law enforcement agencies tried to take down one of the operators, the latter claimed that offering online backgammon playing is not breaking the law as backgammon is a game of skill, and not a game of chance.

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.