Online Casino BTDino

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Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Online gambling

The stakes are high, the ante is low, and a lot of bluffs may soon get called.
It's not Vegas, baby, but the freewheeling world of Internet gambling is a $7.5 billion business that is expected to more than double over the next five years.
Rapid growth and a low cost of entry are drawing in investors, but they also raise the prospect of trade battles among the United States, Britain and Continental countries that don't see eye to eye on gambling - or on regulation of the Internet.
British lawmakers this month took steps to lure online casino operators, which are often based in small locales like Antigua, Costa Rica and Gibraltar, to their shores by making it a legal, regulated business.
But in America, despite the presence of the world capital of gambling, Las Vegas, and the spread of casinos to Indian reservations and riverboats in many states, online gambling is technically illegal. Even though an estimated 20 million Americans - well over half of those betting globally - visit online gambling sites, the Bush administration wants to keep the ban in place, arguing that Internet gambling threatens public morals and contributes to the spread of crime.

Some continental European governments, too, are concerned about the spread of online gambling, but for a different reason - Internet betting threatens the entrenched casino and betting monopolies that are often run by or linked closely to national governments.
"Because of global trade agreements and the Internet, it's going to be harder and harder for governments to block this," said Andrew Tottenham, a London-based gambling consultant who is also the British representative for Caesar's Entertainment, the U.S. casino operator.