In may surprise many to know that, despite the existence of over 1,000 casinos in the United States, and many of them being the most famous and iconic in the world, online gambling in the USA is heavily restricted. However, despite these restrictions, the popularity of online gambling is on the rise, with an average growth rate of 3.1% according to World Atlas. Among the US veteran community, playing online slots has proved to be especially popular.
Whilst, as mentioned above, online gambling in the US is heavily regulated and must be licenced by state bodies, such as the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board, it is still possible for unlicensed and therefore illicit online gambling and casino sites to pop up. Particularly for older veterans, these opportunist and often sophisticated fakes can lead to unfair commercial practices, so it is important to make sure the casino have a valid license and make sure to read the terms carefully.
Online casinos and gambling sites tend to be well-liked by veterans who are searching for a thrilling way to pass the time after serving. Thrill and the element of risk are tied up both in the line of duty and also in gambling, so it comes as no surprise that online gambling would be popular to this community. Virtual slots, in particular, are popular with US veterans due to their retro-familiarity with the old, technicoloured slot machines of yore, combined with the vivid technics of today’s mobile graphics. Slot machines have been a popular installation in US military bases, on and off, since the 1930s, despite a decade-long ban during the 1970s, so the military and gambling have a long and historic relationship.
And, US military have been a long-standing money-pot for gambling bodies, both offline and, increasingly, online. In the US alone, it is estimated that gambling by military personnel generates the industry up to $150 million in annual revenue, according to Military Today. With this being said, it is important to note the inevitable downsides of the military’s long-standing relationship with gambling. Due to the high percentages of veterans who return to civilian life with symptoms of PTSD, which can manifest itself in impulsive or reckless behaviour, many US veterans develop gambling disorders; Military Today puts figures at up to 48,000 personnel today – and that figure doesn’t count retired veterans who are thought to be one of the biggest demographics of online gambling.