Israel Study Suggests Legalizing Online Gambling

Published Monday, December 10, 2012 -

A recent study in Israel suggests the idea of legalizing gambling in the country would see revenue generated by the activity to the tune of 1.2 billion NIS in taxes. The study conducted by Netanya Academic College and Ronen Bar-El of the Open University, will be published for the Sderot Conference on Social Issues coming up at Sapir College. The study reveals that 12.5 billion NIS is spent per year on sports gambling, stating that as much as 11 billion NIS is spent on illegal betting. Assuming correctly the study suggests that illegal betting on sports harms both gamblers and sports associations, while regulating these activities would take the profit away from criminal organizations and would mitigate attempts at match fixing.

The study’s author economist Avichai Snir commented that competitive sports throughout the world are "subject today to the growing threat of match fixing and turning it into a tool of organized crime," The study which makes clear the need for legal online betting points out that the trend is to make a regulated environment for online gambling for a safer and more honest situation. The study continues to explain how online gambling has been legalized in 28 countries around the world, with another 13 countries working towards regulation. Gambling online is illegal in Israel, and efforts to stop the activity have been mostly unsuccessful.

The economic impact of illegal gambling in Israel amounts to 21% of GNP, about 136 billion NIS, with as a much as 34 billion NIS being laundered through sporting events and other related sales. Figures gleaned from the International Monetary Fund estimates that criminal elements take in $1.5 trillion to $3 trillion per year, with one-third to half of this amount being laundered money, which accounts for 2% to 5% of the world's gross national product and about 10% of all of the world’s economic activities.

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