Is now the time to discuss online gambling like adults

A recent report has estimated that 10% of the total amount of time spent online is used for gambling activities. That’s works out at a little over 5 minutes for every hour in front of our computer, which is a heck of a lot when you consider what busy lives we all lead.

I’m going to hazard a guess and say that the only industry that probably beats that is the naughty industry that people under 18 (or 21 depending on where live!) are allowed to access.

I won’t mention the exact name of the industry in case it sets off all sorts of red lights and alarms on the site, but I would suggest that that would probably account for around 60% of people’s time online. Now I have no evidence of that at all, so don’t hold me to it – it’s simply a guess.

However, I reckon it’s a pretty good guess which means that only around 30% of people’s time online is spent doing the ‘traditional’ things which everyone assumes the internet is for: paying bills, updating your Facebook status, emailing your friends, doing research on Google etc etc

How times have changed!!

This figure becomes even more impressive when you consider that a large proportion of Internet users are under 18 and therefore can’t gamble on real money casino games even if they wanted to.

Then of course there’s a huge number of people who are totally against gambling altogether and want it banned – so I reckon it’s probably fairly safe to assume that they’re not wagering either.

So even without these two large groups of internet users, online gambling is still taking up 10% of internet usage, and this is likely to grow when you consider the number of ipad casinos which are now opening up.

A variety of offerings for other mobile devices can only be a little way behind which will open up a whole new market for online gamers.

It’s really not showing any signs of going away, so I wonder whether now is the time to start talking about it openly rather than burying our heads in the sand and hoping that it will simply vansish at some point.

Recently, a host of European countries such as Spain, Germany and Holland have all been forced to look at their legislation for online gambling very closely and start to think about how they might liberalise their current laws to control this growing industry while still protecting their citizens.

This certainly seems like the best way forward and one would hope that other countries such as the US and Australia might think about doing something similar. This is obviously a pastime that people want to indulge in, and forcing it underground with a whole host of prohibition-style rulings can not be good for those indulging.