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United Kingdom Bets Big on Online Casinos

 The United Kingdom hopes, that by legalizing online casinos and internet gambling, betting companies and online casinos will come in from offshore, and thus bring tax revenues to the country. Online casinos have enjoyed unbelievable growth on the Internet in recent years, and this explosive expansion has come with much scrutiny and has created an incredibly crowded marketplace, as online casinos spring up left and right. But the current state of online casinos is healthy and ripe with new developments and news. The industry is always exciting despite mainstream society’s recent reservations, and now, the United Kingdom has decided to jump on the online casinos bandwagon. The latest research on online casinos shows that there are still substantial growth opportunities in the online casinos industry in months and years to come. As online casinos become more ‘legitimate,’ Britain hopes to bring increased revenue to the country.

People in Britain are going crazy over online casinos. Newspaper stands are crammed with gambling magazines and the national daily newspapers have devoted sections to online casinos and games of chance, including poker and other games. Britain even opened up the world’s first casino college this year, where young trainees can learn the tricks of online casinos and land based casinos. Now, the British government hopes to become the global hub of online casinos. Parliament has enacted sweeping new legislation that will open up the online gambling and entertainment market, starting next year, to traditional casino games such as poker, blackjack, and roulette. Britons already play such games by the millions, but the companies offering them are based in offshore tax havens such as Gibraltar, the Channel Islands, and Costa Rica. The government hopes that by becoming the first country in the developed world to legalize online gambling, it can lure offshore outfits to locate on British soil and pump even more revenues into public coffers. It’s a huge opportunity for online casinos, but one with huge upside, since Britons wager millions and millions of dollars per year at casinos.

British investors also are into the idea. They are obviously attracted by the more favorable regulatory environment, and some online gambling firms are already listed on the London Stock Exchange. "Britain is already the global leader in betting and now it looks likely to become the world capital of Internet gambling as well," says Professor Leighton Vaughan Williams, director of the betting research unit at Nottingham Trent University. But the USA is still the place to be, according to some experts. An online gambling company's CEO, Nigel Payne, calculates that if Internet gambling were legal in the U.S., it would have generated $1.2 billion in tax revenues in 2004. "If the U.S. regulates this industry, we will set up there and gladly pay tax," he says. "If legislation passes, the U.S. has wiped out any chance of capitalizing on what is becoming one of the world's fastest growing and most lucrative businesses," says Nottingham Trent's Vaughan Williams.

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