Gambling Is A Multi-Billion-Dollar Industry

According to a British study, 5.3 billion Belgian gambling money goes to private players on the market. Of course, part of it flows back to the winners as a profit. Still, it’s an impressive turnover figure, which says a lot about the impact of the gambling industry. Because this turnover only comes from traders and companies with a license. In addition, there are still many illegal offices and sites. Jannie Haek, CEO of the National Lottery, previously spoke of proliferation and Far West situations.

The famous figure comes from a study by Gambling Compliance, an international organization that groups the most legal gambling traders. Some country works with permits issued by the Gaming Commission to be able to offer gambling activities. The committee distinguishes different types. There are 9 recognized casinos, 180 slot machine halls, and several thousand bingo machines, the latter mainly in cafés. In addition, there are several recognized betting organizers such as bookmakers, betting offices, newsagents, and racing clubs. There is also a separate license for organizing phone games in the media. But these are no longer offered in Flanders, but they are in Wallonia. The licensees must comply with a number of conditions, otherwise, they could lose their license. For example, access to a casino is limited to registered players from the age of 21. The same conditions apply to slot machine arcades. Licensed cafés can place up to 2 bingo machines and use is only possible from the age of 18 with an electronic identity card. That age also applies to gambling through all recognized betting offices and sites.

Punishable
Because games of chance fall under criminal law, not only the providers or organizers of betting can be prosecuted for infringements, but also the players who do not meet the conditions risk fines. But of course, the problem fans out much further because the discussion is also about illegal sites, which are widely gambled on. On the one hand, they escape control. On the other hand, the games of the chance committee itself have made an inventory of a blacklist. The 102 gambling sites on the list have been blocked for use from Belgium. Of course, these are far from all sites and a lot of gambling money also flows directly abroad. In compiling this blacklist, the Gaming Commission is concentrating on sites that consciously try to appeal to an audience in some countries, for example by also offering its products in Dutch. Foreign betting offices, such as Ladbrokes and Unibet, can also get a license in some countries, provided they have a server here. For example, the domain name .be is mandatory. In this way, the Belgian regulator exercises control over the money flows with those foreign operators and prevents the proceeds from those offices from disappearing directly abroad, read tax-havens. The only question is to what extent this is mopping with the tap open.

National Lottery clashes with the private gambling market
The National Lottery itself has a turnover of 1.2 billion. This is in addition to the 5.3 billion of the private operators. In addition to lottery games (Lotto, Euromillions, all kinds of scratch tickets), the National Lottery itself also offers bets. Just think of sports betting via Score. The National Lottery also has a license for this from the Gaming Commission. For the lottery games, it has received a monopoly from the government through a management agreement. Topman Jannie Haek goes head-on against that gaming commission. He blames her for a much too lax policy because just about anyone can obtain a permit and the access conditions for users are hardly checked. He also blames the government for the fact that the law on games of chance still has no implementing decrees, which makes conclusive regulations almost impossible in any case. Remarkably, the games of chance commission acknowledge this criticism and confirm that it can only apply the applicable rules in its control task. Haek does not shy away from harsh words. He calls Belgium, among other things, the Far West of online gambling. Furthermore, the National Lottery points to the difference in so-called return for society. The Lottery itself is bound by its management agreement with the government. This stipulates that in exchange for a monopoly position in the lottery games, she must deposit 320 million annually in the federal treasury. These are monopoly rights (135 million) and compulsory subsidies to social, cultural, and sports initiatives (185 million). To be clear, it’s not about the sponsorship deals. The National Lottery makes its own decisions about this. According to the Gambling Compliance study, private operators pay only 120 million in taxes, which go to the Regions. The National Lottery, therefore, likes to speak of reinvestment for its activities.

Chinese Gambling Activities Expanded To Southeast Asian Countries

Gambling is against the law in China other than in Macau. As a result, a sea gambling industry centered on China has emerged in Southeast Asian countries, like judi online in Indonesia, Philippines, including Cambodia. The driving factor for the development of online gaming in the Cambodian port, the city of Sihanoukville is the attractive economic return.

Regardless of the economic rewards brought by gambling, the arrival of Chinese citizens into Cambodia has resulted in an upsurge in the number of criminal offenses which include extortion, kidnapping, and even murder. Casinos also exposed the cessation of money laundering and child labor. A lot of massage rooms have been established to benefit gamblers. The expansion of Chinese people associated with gambling-related issues has negatively affected national security and public order (including social order).

The Philippines is an alternative to Cambodia and another hot spot in the development of online games in China. In April 2019, an estimated 138,000 Chinese citizens obtained work permits for Chinese gaming establishments called Philippine Offshore Game Operators (POGO) locally. Due to the development of the gambling industry, the number of reported crimes related to gambling has increased, including the kidnapping of Chinese citizens as perpetrators.

From a socio-economic point of view, conditional actions should be maintained instead of completely banning China’s overseas gambling activities. On the one hand, the governments of Cambodia and the Philippines should impose strict regulations on the operation of sea gambling activities, for example, strengthen recruitment reviews to ensure that underage children are not employed by game operators, and prohibit the operation of massage parlors.

On the other hand, these governments should hire more law enforcement personnel to supervise the daily activities inside and outside the casino to prevent money laundering and other gambling-related crimes. An independent supervisory agency should be established to monitor the actions of law enforcement officials and arrest those involved in corrupt activities.

In addition, immigration screening should be strengthened to ensure that all Chinese citizens entering these Southeast Asian countries have valid work permits. All Chinese citizens who participate in game-related activities with visitor visas should be arrested and deported. In addition, immigration authorities should limit the issuance of work visas to Chinese citizens to prevent China’s overseas gambling industry from developing too much.

By restricting the scope and activities of the maritime gambling industry, Southeast Asian countries can continue to reap huge profits from gambling-related fees and taxes. These countries can also provide local residents with a range of employment opportunities to help minimize their unemployment rate.

In general, for the socio-economic development of Southeast Asian countries, China’s maritime gambling activities should be restricted, not absolutely prohibited.

How important is gambling to the Economy?

Gambling and the Economy are two terms that few people put in context. There are different reasons for this.

What is meant by gambling?

Games of chance can be defined as follows: money is used and those who are successful win money. In this country, this primarily means sports betting, horse betting, poker, games in an online casino like gclub. Lotto also belongs in this category. In connection with games of chance, addiction is often warned, although there is no doubt that not everyone is at risk. In the Economy, observations are likely to have a different view on this topic than, for example, in politics and the general public. If you look at it objectively, you don’t believe who is involved in everything in this industry. And we’re not talking about any bookmakers or casinos. The reason for the interest is simply money.

The assumed sales

There are no 100% reliable figures on how much sales are made with sports betting,  horse betting, and online casinos. No official information is known about how many players and if in fact there are any. However, if you research the sums that, for example, the best-known betting providers spend on sponsoring, several billion euros can be assumed. In this context, it is important to know that almost all providers are internationally oriented. There is a lot of advertising for sports betting. An online casino doesn’t usually have the same opportunity to advertise. Advertising leads to increased sales. But even the casinos on the Internet can sometimes afford TV advertising. Even if figures are available for certain operators because they are listed on the stock exchange, it is difficult to decipher how high the turnover actually is, especially since it would have to be broken down by time period.

It’s booming: revenue from games of chance

Gambling can be described as a booming economy. Hardly any branch has so much upwind. If the numbers are correct that a total of 100 billion euros will be turned over in the year (this has not been proven), this shows great economic strength. One problem, however, is that most companies that recruit customers do not work from locally. And that, in turn, has reasons for which the state must be responsible. The issue here is that prejudice against gambling exists. The laws are out of date. Experts claim that the money that flows to bookmakers abroad through various channels is lacking in the Economy. However, nobody will be able to prevent that people like to do sports betting or play the games in an online casino. The channels would just have to be redirected. The money would benefit the Economy. More people would make money from gambling than employees, and the state would benefit from the taxes. The only tax currently being collected is 5% for every use made on the Internet. It is the law of betting tax.

Sports betting, in particular, is of great importance in the country

There are several providers of sports betting. Advertising is not just a magazine to discover. They exist before and after television programs that are extremely popular. There is also gang advertising on television. Every football club has a betting provider as a partner. Other sports and sometimes special clubs also have such partners. Taxes are paid on such contracts. This in turn means that the state also benefits. If the providers can afford these payments, it says a lot about sales. And one wonders objectively why politicians are so vehemently opposed to gambling.

The importance of the Economy

Sales of sports betting and games in online casinos add up to billions of dollars in revenue for operators each year. The Economy benefits remarkably little because of prejudice and outdated laws. The money will always flow, the task for politics is to direct the flow of money into the right channels.