Offshore gambling has become popular because of the tremendous opportunities that are made available to gamblers and gambling houses alike. The history of offshore gambling can be traced back to the 1990’s when a Caribbean island called Antigua (Barbuda) made online gambling legal. This resulted in a flood of gamblers especially from the US where the government tried in vain to make online gambling illegal. This decision was taken to control the problems caused due to gambling. On November 10 2004, the WTO (World Trade Organization) ruled in favor of the Antigua government. The accusation was that the Caribbean government was exporting the gambling business to the US. However, the WTO ruled that the US government acted against GATS (General Agreement in Trade and Services).
Offshore gambling is only possible because of the Internet, which provides unprecedented opportunities for gamblers. Online gambling is a very lucrative business since it can be operated even if the laws of a country do not permit it.
Other recent inventions such as tablet PCs and mobile phones have acted as catalysts in promoting offshore gambling. The main reason behind this is that people can gamble from anywhere in contrast to land based gambling. Conventional gambling forces gamblers to be present at a particular site. In offshore or on-line gambling, the gambler can play from anywhere around the world.
The licensing procedures have made the matter even more confusing since a company can get a license from one country, locate the server in another, and cater to the needs of customers from yet another country. Thus, the assortment of legalities and regulations make it impossible for governments around the world to curb or regulate offshore gambling activities.
Today the offshore gambling market is worth a whooping three hundred billion dollars out of which only twenty billion is legal.