Inline with the growth of several businesses in the web is the internet gambling. Gambling online has grown so fast that it has now become a global problem. Worldwide for 2004, estimates of online gambling revenues ranged from $7 billion to $10 billion, with U. S. bettors providing at least half of that amount —$4 billion or more (Stewart & Gray, 2006). Despite the massive campaign of governments against it, internet gambling continues to grow. In US alone it is said that internet gambling among residents “increases at a rate of more than 20 percent a year” (Stewart & Gray, 2006).
While the greater majority of those who join in internet gambling do not experience problems, a certain percentage of individuals develop addiction problems with gambling. “Studies have indicated that approximately 5% of the population experience current problems with gambling” (Kossman, 2006). As a way to control the gambling addiction, some people developed the idea of “eWallet” (Levine, yyyy). Although the concept of eWallet varies from one application to another, in the field of gambling, it is a way to load a certain amount of bet money electronically to a computer program with certain controls as to the maximum losing or winning amount.
It also allows the gambler to keep track of the amount of winnings or the amount lost. Statement of the Problem This document aims to study the use of eWallets for gamblers. Although the method of study is not definite but more of exploratory, it will basically look into the important points raised by the article, “Gambling as a leisure: the need for protection” (Levine, yyyy), as a basis for another look into this new technology. The final objective of this study would be to try to answer if eWallet’s, from its basic concept, are really effective in controlling the problems that would normally arise with gamblers.
Analysis Formation of the concept According to Levine, that in gambling winners tends to become greedy into winning more (yyyy). “Greed is called a selfish desire to obtain money, wealth, food, material possessions or any other entity more than one legitimately needs” (Wikipedia, 2007). So in gambling greed is when you focus all your attention in winning as much as you can without regard of the fun associated with gambling. For losers according to Levine, losers tend to play more in order to gain back what they have lost (yyyy).
This is termed as recoup which is to recover a portion or all of what was lost. Another factor is the loss of track due to the lack of a record of how much they have won or how much they have lost, until it becomes too late. The idea of eWallet was formulated to help gamblers in controlling their greed of winning, preventing the uncontrollable desire for recoup and keeping a complete track of how much was lost or won in the present session. Purpose of eWallet To control greed, the eWallet mentioned by Levine (yyyy), should have a maximum limit as to how much the person is allowed to win.
When it reaches the maximum winning limit, it will lock the account from betting further. This would put an end to the desire to win further. To prevent from losing uncontrollably because of the desire for recoup, in the same manner eWallet would lock the account when the maximum losing limit is reach. This locking of account will not be reset until after a predetermined number of hours like 24 hours. To control the length of gambling, a tracking of how much is lost or won is presented in the eWallet.
This provides gamblers a definitive value of how much was lost or won as oppose to merely estimating it mentally. According to Levine in the said attached document, the purpose of eWallet is to put some limits, lock winnings, prevents abusive gambling and to keep the gambler aware of the length of gambling (yyyy). Advantages Looking from these purposes, it appears that eWallets are helpful tools for gamblers providing them with a good tract of how long and how much was already involve in their current online gaming session.
It is advantageous for greedy individuals to eventually lose back what they have won and prevent losers from losing beyond control. The concept of putting it in a handy device that looks like a PDA gadget would make it very handy yet providing the necessary security for accessing monetary information online. From a social perspective, this is healthy because gambling is essential a negative form of leisure from a moral context. Disadvantages One disadvantage for eWallets would be the inability to win beyond the limit set and second would be the inability to recuperate from losses once the limits are reached.
These disadvantages are viewed from a perspective of lucky individual, but since gamblers basically banked on luck for success in gambling, there is a possibility that the limits set would become a deterrent for some gamblers. Gambling from its basic definition is placing a bet, taking a chance and taking risks. It is by these virtues that gamblers enjoy this form of leisure. Putting limits to the amount lost and amount of winnings is like limiting the risk associated with this game. This in turn reduces the excitement derive by professional gamblers.
So as result, the selling ability of this product would be affected. Effectiveness of Concept To prove whether eWallet’s are effective or not, it must first be put into use for a period of time and statistical data are derived from which conclusions can be derived. This analysis relies on the idea that it may be possible to derive an interpolative outcome based on eWallet’s effect on the behavior of gamblers. According to the McNeese State University, in their project for the treatment of online gambling, there are three basic types of gamblers, social, problem and pathological (2007).
Social or otherwise known as recreational are gamblers who bets as another form or recreation. They do not usually experience financial, social or behavioral problems. This is because gambling is not their main recreational activity but rather just one of them. Problem gamblers develop problems related to their gambling activity. This includes problems with relationship or an increasing debt due to gambling. These are the type of gamblers who often see gambling as another source of income. Losses could result to serious behavioral consequences or mood swings.
This could eventually result to problems with relationship to other people. Worst it could lead to serious debt because of trying to regain the losses. Pathological gamblers are the worst which is characterized by a serious addiction comparable to chemical addiction. Problems experienced by pathological gamblers “may include mounting debt, relationship problems, difficulty at work, legal problems, and physical and emotional distress” (MSU, 2007). Pathological gamblers have extreme difficulty controlling their behavior with regards to gambling.
The American Psychiatric Association defines this type of gambler as a form of mental disorder. If we are to sell eWallet’s to gamblers, the chances are, only the social gamblers will purchase it because they do not want to experience gambling problems. The problem gamblers who are driven by the desire to earn through gambling, and the pathological gamblers who are driven by their addiction are unable to recognize their present problems. They do not normally see the benefit of eWallets.
They will see the winning and losing limits as impediments to their goals. Therefore these problem and pathological gamblers will most likely not purchase or use eWallets so that in the end it defeats the very purpose of controlling problems associated with gambling. eWallets purpose of controlling greed, preventing uncontrollable recoup and lack of track for the amount of winnings or losses will be ineffective in preventing problems that would arise because on the first place only the social or those who do not normally experience problems use it.
So that eWallet’s overall effectiveness will be very minimal. The effectiveness may be optimal if government will impose that all online gambling should use an eWallet technology. This would then deter problem gamblers since their amount of winnings are limited. On the other hand, it will be able to control pathological gamblers from losing uncontrollably. Present Status The government of many countries has implemented massive campaigns to stop internet gambling. In US alone, “a series of bills sponsored by Sen. Jon Kyl (R-AZ) and Rep.
James Leach (R-IA) have sought to achieve this goal by restricting the flow of funds into Internet gambling operations” (Strumpf, 2004). It is believed that it has been effective in reducing online gambling especially in the US. Although many analyst believes that it would just be a matter of time before online gambling sites can find their way around these laws. “The founders of two online sportsbooks and the leading internet eWallet for gambling transactions (Neteller) have been arrested in the last few months” (Beane, 2007). This is in accordance with unlawful Internet Gaming Enforcement Act (UIGEA).
Although the eWallet from Neteller does not have the full limiting features mentioned by Levine (yyyy), this is an indication that the conceived prototype in Levine’s study is in fact against the law. It is therefore difficult for this product to prosper and meet its object because it may violate the UIGEA. Conclusion Online gambling has created serious problems to problem and pathological gamblers. The concept of creating an eWallet that limits the winnings & losses and allows tracking of the amount of money won or lost to prevent the problems that may arise may prove to be ineffective.
Ineffective in the sense that the probable buyers will only be the social gamblers which do not basically experience problems associated with online gambling. Although it is apparent that eWallets offers some advantages over the control of the money involved in online gambling, the very advantage can be viewed as disadvantage to problem or pathological gamblers. Government campaign like in the US have been effective in creating bills that would prevent online gambling from rapidly growing but it would just be a matter of time before online gambling website can find its way around these laws.
In the end eWallet might not be useful in achieving its purposes because aside from the mentioned ineffectiveness eWallets may also appear to be against the present unlawful Internet Gaming Enforcement Act.
Stewart, D. Ropes & Gray (2006). An Analysis of Internet Gambling and Its Policy Implications. American Gaming Associations Website. Retrieved March 23, 2007 from http://www. americangaming. org/assets/files/studies/wpaper_internet_0531. pdf Kossman, M. (2006). Internet Gambling. University of Wisconsin – Eau Claire Website. Retrieved March 23, 2007 from http://www.sports-central.org/sports/2007/01/25/dealing_with_the_uigea.php