There has been a large outcry in the United States about something called Net Neutrality. What does this term mean and how can it affect online casino players? Let’s find out.
What is net neutrality?
Net neutrality basically means that any and all internet activities are considered the same by ISPs (internet service providers). Think of your ISP – the one who supplies your home and/or mobile devices with an internet connection – like a water company. Your internet ‘juice’ flows through their pipes freely, whether you’re playing Call of Duty online, reading an online news portal, or sending Snapchats to your friends.
At present, your ISP’s pipes are completely unobstructed. You pay the same for your internet connection, whether you use it mainly for bingeing Netflix or delivering high-definition video calls to your investors. This is net neutrality and it is particularly important for maintaining a free and uncensored web.
Why is it in trouble?
The United States Congress is currently debating whether to revamp laws that protect net neutrality. In short, this means that internet service providers can now change the way they charge customers, depending on what online content they would like to view.
Building on our previous example, this legal change would allow ISPs to install valves in the plumbing system, throttling internet speeds and even cutting access entirely to particular content. Your internet bill each month might only cover ‘basic’ internet browsing services and ISPs could conceivably charge more for access to things like social media, video streaming, and music streaming services.
This change in net neutrality laws can impact many different areas of business and society – entrepreneurs, small businesses, and the creative industries are set to suffer the most if access to their sites comes at an extra cost.
How does this affect me?
If you are a player in the United States, particularly those interested in online poker, this could impact how and where you play. ISPs may decide to charge more for access to gambling sites, thus creating more obstacles (and expense) for you.
While gambling has not been specifically mentioned as a potential casualty of this change, it is worth contemplating how it can impact future gaming.
If you are a casino player outside the United States, this legal change does not necessarily affect you right now. What it does, however, is set a dangerous precedent that might give other governments a template to follow.
On our end, we’ll be closely watching the results of this Congressional move and keeping you posted with any updates.