Cyber Law & Cyber Ethics and Online Gambling

Cyber Law & Cyber Ethics and Online Gambling

applicable in their own physical location across the geographical boundaries, or believing there is a relaxation of regulations and restrictions. They may also be erroneously enlarging their personal security perimeter, acting under a false impression that the limit of communication is with the computer screen itself, or is restricted to a specific intended set of interested people.

In this generalized elsewhere, people can be whoever, whatever, and wherever they wish, presenting themselves and re-inventing themselves as they desire. Unfortunately, this also offers the opportunity for those with fewer scruples to pretend to be people who already exist, based on information they have managed to obtain from unsuspecting users who are under such illusions and who become susceptible to such problems.

A key difficulty for cyberspace users is in this rapid but undistinguished crossing of boundaries that include legal, ethical, and religious, amongst others. For tourists in the physical world, there are often certain clear indications of when geographical boundaries have been crossed, and other symbols may identify such a difference. In cyberspace, one can rapidly move across boundaries of geography without ever being aware of the fact. This can create significant difficulties for software designers and internet users alike in understanding what applies, where it applies when it applies, and, most difficult of all, why.


As discussed, people who believe in the supposed liberty afforded by cyberspace must take care in what they do. While there is nothing necessarily sinister in the technology itself, the actions that technologies facilitate may not always be harmless. Most cybercrimes are reasonably common offenses and computer technologies have simply provided new ways to commit old crimes (Jewkes, 2003). However, laws have often been found wanting when considering what new technologies provide for.

In real places, a person can only be in one place at one time; in cyberspaces, a person will be in a single physical location but can be simultaneously undertaking actions that link them with systems located in disparate locations, each of which has implications for laws, acceptable behaviors, and so on. In addition, the usual markers of identity are missing: cyberspace makes possible the creation of identity so fluid and multiple that it strains the very limits of the notion (Jewkes, 2003). Those who can hide or fake identity can act without fear of reprisal, surveillance, or legal intervention, and there is much-supporting software for doing this.

Gambling Laws and Regulations

Though countries do have laws relating to gambling, people tend to ignore such laws in cyberspace. The huge growth in online gambling2 often brings it in line with physical forms of gambling. Some countries have created new laws for online gambling, while others extended old laws to cover it. Interestingly, America has a restrictive law in the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act 2006.

This law has reportedly had a detrimental impact on its economy: it has been estimated that the US could have created between 16,000 and 32,000 jobs and generated a total gross expenditure in the nation’s economy of $94 billion over the first five years and $57.5 billion in domestic taxation (H2 Gambling Capital, 2010).


Machine ethics has not yet been applied by others for the avoidance of harm in relation to online gambling. Alongside a number of other pursuits, and because gambling has the potential for addiction, it could be claimed that a system for ethical gambling may be as effective for humans and social health as medical ethics. Machine ethics may not cure addiction, but it may be able to act to reduce the likelihood of addiction. Our consideration here is how Machine Ethics may support responsible gambling and lead toward an Ethical Corporation.

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