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Poker Article: Online Poker Youth Destruction ?
The act of turning on your computer and signing into an online poker site of your choice to wager, is common practice these days. A good number of these
online poker sites, however, do not discriminate and check the age of their participants (i.e., no poker youth discrimination). This has led the
anti-gambling community to vigorously campaign against its legality. Those against online poker gambling, insist that young people's lives are being
destroyed as a result. Some of the prominent reasons for this stance, include the following:
- Basic Money skills - Generally speaking, the youth have very little skill when it comes
to managing money. Online poker affords the youth to spend and lose a lot of money
in a short period of time. Given the inexperience at managing money, combining youth
and online gambling is not a desired combination.
- Account funding - Many online poker sites never check a participant's credentials, such
as age. On these sites, a young person can fund an account through many financial means.
Lack of regulation on the part of these site owners, contributes to a potential underage
- The Obsession of playing - Many believe that today's youth are becoming obsessed and
mesmerized with playing online poker. This, in turn, results in these youth becoming
anti-social, and eliminates time spent with friends, family, and all-important school
work. The anti-gambling contingent insist that this is having a destructive effect on
- Compulsive gambling issue - Of all the case studies that have been done, most suggest that
compulsive gambling is a rare disorder, only effecting a small percentage of the entire
gambling population. The anti-gambling establishment insists that exposure to online
poker, make the youth increasingly susceptible to compulsive gambling disorders.
- Giving money away - Many think that the gambling youth spend their allowances or paper
route money on online poker wagering. This is certainly an issue, if true.
- Enforcement of local laws not applied - Despite various local law jurisdiction prohibiting
online gambling, many online poker sites refuse to enforce the local laws of their
players, and allow them to play online for money. Although the internet is much larger
than local law, and many of these sites reside in off-shore locations (relative to their
players), this argument is used by many who believe that online gambling should be banned
The above concerns all carry some merit, but there are also many who favor online gambling.
Some of their reasons to permit online poker (and wagering) to continue are:
- The hypocritical argument - Although the anti-gambling establishment outright condemns online
poker wagering (and its catering to the youth), the counter-argument is that there are many
"regulated" online establishments that allow the youth to currently gamble online. Some of
the types of websites that come to mind are online state lotteries and fantasy sports websites.
- Youth gambling preventative measures - Many of the popular and reputable online poker sites
already have significant mechanisms in place, to ensure that underage participants cannot sign
up and wager on their sites.
- Speech freedom - Denying people (even the youth), from visitng and participating on gambling
websites, is a denial of freedom of speech, and clearly dictates what people can and cannot
do with their own money.
- Regulation is the grand savior - Universal regulation of online poker is unquestionably the
right answer here. Not only would regulation bring in a stream of tax money to the jurisdictions
of the player base (an added benefit), but it would also permit sophisticated underage checks
and balances to be implemented on the website, to ensure that the underaged are not permitted
to gamble. Many jurisdictions around the world have implemented rigid rules already to this
effect, and have developed the necessary osftware mechanisms to ensure that underage gambling is
eliminated. Those sites that have not yet implemented such a solution, could certainly leverage
from the software development that has already been implemented in this arena.
In short, by regulating online poker, we would create a tax revenue for governments around the
globe, and would also permit safeguards to be uniformally implemented at all websites, to ensure
that underage gamblers could not be participants at these sites. Without regulation, non-regulated
sites will continue to flourish, and the youth will continue to make use of online wagering sites.
With regulation of online poker, opponents of online gambling will have most of their worries quelled,
when it comes to their concern over youth gambling.
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Online Poker Youth Destruction ?