Jamaica Wants Online Gambling

Posted By: Date: 06/24/2014 at 12:00 am Leave a comment

Over the past year, online gambling has taken the spotlight. Several countries, including Switzerland, have made strides in legalizing it. A few states in the United States, like Delaware and New Jersey, legalized it and are reaping the benefits. Jamaica has taken notice of this, and now they, too, want to legalize online gambling.

The ultimate goal by the Jamaican government is to legalize and regulate online gambling in the next 12 months. They want to make use of the extra revenue that online gambling would make each month. The largest issue when it comes to online gambling, customer protection, is their primary concern.

“Internet gaming is happening right now in Jamaica,” the Ministry of Finance and Planning representative Horace Dalley told the Jamaica Observer in a recent interview. “Therefore, it is time that we make that progression to this methodology of gaming, as Jamaicans are already well-equipped with the devices to facilitate this.”

Over the past year, the land-based gambling industry in Jamaica drew some big numbers – $4.5 billion. Though $4.5 billion is extremely impressive, they feel like that number could be even higher through online gaming. If online gaming is legalized, they could tempt new customers that were previously unreachable through no deposit promotions.

Unlike some places, more than just poker would be legalized. At a 2014 Gaming Industry Summit in Kingston, Jamaica, they talked about changes made to the Betting, Gaming and Lotteries Act, which called for text betting and telephone wagers on sporting events.

If legalized, Jamaica could become a prime example of how online gambling works. Their population lies closer to Delaware than New Jersey – they have roughly 2.8 million people living there. However, the industry seems to be much, much larger than Delaware or New Jersey.

The key change here would be text betting and telephone wages. It’s a risky venture, especially when customer privacy is such a huge issue, but it would drive a lot of extra revenue in. Sporting events, especially, would be a huge draw. Worldwide events, such as UFC, would bring in a lot of revenue from day-of betting. Jamaica even has its own UFC fighter, Uriah Hall, who currently has a 9-4-0 record. His next fight, which will be at UFC 175 on July 5th, 2014, will see him facing Thiago Santos, a fighter with an impressive 9-2-0 record. Should Jamaica somehow legalize online gambling by then, this fight would draw huge numbers.

Jamaica is the latest country to want to legalize online gambling, and there’s bound to be more. Meanwhile, stateside, we still only have it legalized in three states, with eight or nine more considering it. As more countries legalize it, the individual states in the United States continue to fight.

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