Online betting is another form of what was initially known as 'off-track' betting. In the early days of organized
gambling on sport, all betting took place at the horse track. Later, bets could be placed with bookmakers at
local pubs or bookmaking offices. From there, things have progressed to the point where online betting exchanges
allow punters to lay their wagers from the privacy of their own homes at all hours of the day or night.
There are advantages and disadvantages to online betting, and vocal proponents and opponents to boot. Whether or
not online betting is even legal varies from country to country. However, the tide seems to be turning firmly
in favor of legalised online betting, as evidenced by a recent shift out of Las Vegas. On November 25th, 2008,
the American Gaming Association came out for legalised online betting. Previously the States' largest gaming
association had been a hold out, and while some of the big international casinos were allowing limited online
betting based on location, it was a frustration to punters to be restricted, given the profit opportunities
available in American sports.
Now, while it seems that online betting is going to be legal worldwide in the near future, it is far from perfect.
Dodgy betting sites pop up and shut down constantly, so it is best to stick with the big game sites, especially
if one is a bit newer to the process. The shadowy jurisdictions for some of the online ventures provide limited
recourse in the event of a rip off, and some charge usurious fees to members. Additionally, Gamblers Anonymous
finds that online betting can be a hard challenge to resist for gambling addicts. Some also fret that the
numbers of addicted gamblers are rising as a result of online betting.
However, others point to the unparalleled convenience offered by online betting. No pub hours to observe, no
bookmakers out on holiday, just 24/7 betting opportunities. Yes, it is a bit more anonymous than offline
betting, but fans point out that this can save the time and hassle of trying to explain to one's mates why you
bet heavily on Australian Women's Bowling, or the difficulty of walking a new bookie through some of the more
complex betting combinations. Additionally, online betting can be a pride saver - all losses can be wept over in
the privacy of your own home. Big wins can be equally anonymous, but do remember that most online betting is
taxed in one way or another. Online or off, the tax man always takes his cut.
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