Will Online Sportsbooks Take to the Cloud?

Are jurisdiction-free sports betting sites the future of online bookies?

Jurisdiction-Free Sports Betting Sites the Future of Online Bookies?Every year, we ask the same question. What’s the next big thing in iGaming technology? What does the future hold for this exponentially growing industry? The answer this year is mundanely similar to previous years. More virtual reality and blockchain technologies to come…

But wait – there’s another item on the agenda, and it could blow the lid right off two decades worth of regulatory structuring. Now, there’s talk of jurisdiction-free online betting. Technology is finally advanced enough that, via satellite and the enigmatic “Cloud”, bookmakers will no longer need to base their operations upon terrestrial ground.

It’s being hailed by some as the best thing since sliced bread, giving bookies more freedom and punters better deals. No laws, no wagering restrictions, no taxes, no costly overhead. What could possibly go wrong?

Jurisdiction-Free Sports Betting Sites – How it Would Work

If a ship were to set sail for the open waters, it would no longer be subject to land-based laws. Even if betting on sports were illegal in the jurisdiction in which the vessel was previously harbored, once that ship sails into the open ocean, such laws no longer apply. Passengers aboard could legally place all the bets they wish, collecting winnings without a care, or drowning the sorrow of their losses in whatever beverage they deem appropriate.

The exact same rules—or lack thereof—apply to “The Cloud”. The Cloud does not exist on terrestrial land. It does not even exist in the air above us. It’s an impalpable, intangible, unsubstantial thing. It exists, and yet it has no location. Therefore it cannot be regulated by any jurisdiction on the planet.

With today’s technology, it is no longer necessary to house any website operation on a physical, land-based server. It is possible to upload all amenities of an online sports betting website onto this enigmatic cloud, bouncing information and monetary bets and payments off satellites.

A website that resides wholly within the Cloud would be obligated to no terrestrial authority. It would be bound by no betting restrictions or limitations. It would be required to pay no taxes or licensing fees.

The benefits for players could be enormous. Their privacy could be 100% maintained. They would get the best deals, the best odds, the greatest promotions, because all of the operator’s savings could be passed on to the customers, creating a surreal gambling vertical in which no traditionally licensed and regulated online sportsbook, and certainly no land-based bookie, could possibly hope to compete.

Betting On the Cloud – Pure Genius or Devil’s Playground?

It all sounds so wonderful, but let’s consider the consequences for a moment. Think back about two decades ago when the internet first played host to online casinos, poker sites and sportsbooks. There were no terrestrial regulations to cover internet gambling. It was a free for all! Some websites were on the up and up, and some weren’t. Unfortunately, those that weren’t had no one to answer to, creating a dangerous game of trial and error for players.

Wouldn’t a lawless cloud-based gambling market be just as dangerous? Only the most reputable names in the iGaming industry could be trusted, and even then, there’s nothing to stop them from going rogue or spending players’ accounts. If jurisdiction-free sports betting sites are the future, who’s to keep the Cloud from becoming the Devil’s playground?

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