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The Applicant Series #10: Online Gambling

The Applicant Series showcases works done by hopeful writers who have applied with inkmypapers over the years. The results and comments will be provided first, followed by the actual essay/report written by the applicant

Applicant’s Results: Failed

Title: Should the government allow STC and Pools to offer online betting?

Comments: The applicant did poorly on this piece as she seems to confuse writing an essay with writing a blog post. It started out reading like a blog post and wasted 223 words on introducing the topic of online gambling. The latter part of the essay is also poorly written, including points that are irrelevant to the essay such as the Resorts World Manila attack. Her use of references during the later part of the essay are also considered to be not credible.

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Remember the days when phones are bigger than your palm and you have to pull out an antenna and go to a high place just to get a clear reception. Think of the days when people have to make time from their busy schedule just to buy an item they need from the market or the grocery because it is the only place in town where that particular item is available.

Through the years of innovation, we already made a big leap from manual labors and old school communication. With the help of the internet and open source applications everything we do on our day to day lives became more accessible and hassle free. People can do online shopping at the convenience of their own home at any time they want.

The rise of the internet has contributed an edge in minimizing effort and time in people’s daily activities. Most of the brick-and-mortar businesses converted their daily operations to e-Commerce where people exchange services and goods across regions without the need to personally interact. Now, almost everything can actually be done online.

However, along with the advantages the online technology gives to the consumers and business owners, comes also the challenges that most of the time cause conflicts and disputes. One controversial recent phenomenon that is interesting to look at is online gambling.

As defined in the Remote Gambling Act of 2014 in Singapore, online or remote gambling is an act of participating and betting on a sports type game or casino by means of remote communication through different platforms.

Highstakes Database (2015) blog reported that the country Antigua and Barbuda passed a law allowing online gambling to be legal in 1994. The country is the first to offer online gambling to offshore residents worldwide.  In the same year, a software company Microgaming also developed the internet first gambling software. Operations and game play were all running smoothly until 2006 when the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act was passed in the United States. According to Wohl (2009), passing of this law made a huge impact to the business and dispute between Antigua and the United States. This law makes it illegal for financial institutions like credit card companies and banks to process transactions for internet gambling sites. Many job operators were forced to close their business completely and withdraw from the US market causing a dispute between these countries.

The Strait Times (2016) pointed out some contradictions regarding this because while American authorities abolished online betting, some of the state boarders authorize and are in favor of it. Also, backers of the backers of the American anti-online gambling law are the owners of brick-and-mortar casino are saying that online gambling is offensive and wrong while keeping mum about the real-world gambling.

Aside from the contradicting government policies, social and ethical issues are also major concerns. Having an accessible platform for gambling can encourage the rise of underage players as netizens nowadays are very difficult to monitor. One can just lie and play with their birth date when applying for an account online. Frequent punters are also at high risk of addiction, violence, impoverishment, depression and even death when not guided by regulations properly. These are only some of the many apprehensions of the National Council of Churches in Singapore (NCCS) when their Government allowed Singapore Pools and the Singapore Turf Club run an online betting platform.

One brutal example of ineffectiveness of gambling regulations is the Resorts World Manila fiasco that happened last June 2, 2017 in Manila Philippines. ABS-CBN news reported, a gun-man entered the casino and turned the place into a pit of fire. There were 36 people killed and 60 others were wounded. He ransacked the casino stockroom of chips worth 113M pesos. He burnt and shot himself in the head after failing to have an escape plan.

Apparently, the suspect has been investigated and found to be an avid gambler who bets large amount of money. His addiction to gambling was the cause of mounting personal problems and has been allegedly pressured to repay his debt to the casino which triggered the attack. (Wikipedia, 2017).

It has been noted that activities like this may change a person’s structural characteristic and make him/her more problematic and addictive (Griffiths 2003a).

Consumers like recreational punters could be encouraged to bet more frequently if online betting services come at their convenience (Huiwen, 2016)

In Singapore, the Government allowed two online lottery as long as they are regulated and tightly controlled. Tan Chuan-Jin, Minister for Social and Family Development suggested that Government may apply taxes to this kind of businesses and require them to help charitable causes that could help the community (Abdullah, 2016).

On the other hand, Internet is a dubious arena for its users more often than not. Underground online casinos can be put anonymously that will result to unknown alliances of businessmen covering themselves and the business from Government regulations. Shielding of recreational punters especially the youth from getting addicted to online gambling will also be inconspicuous.

In conclusion online gambling can be either beneficial or harmful. This will depend on how good the Government will monitor, and implement the regulations on the two lottery operators, Singapore Pools and Singapore Turf Club.

For some online betting is just a past time. But for frequent bettors who have handsome amount of money to risk and not afraid to lose, this past time can lead to addiction, breaking of family, poverty or even death. Regardless whether you are just a casual player or a frequent bettor, it is always good to know your limits. It is better to engage one selves in other recreational activities like exercise or outdoor sports that will help you physically and mentally with lower risk and no cost.

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