The evolution of gambling regulations between three unique moments in history, when the full moon fell on Friday 13th.
Two of the most feared superstitions combine on this day. The phenomenon last occurred 14 years ago, on October 13, 2000. Back then, we had popular gambling venues; now we have mobile casinos. By 2098, when it will happen again, the world’s gambling industry will completely change.
Not to be too superstitious, but we think the past decade would have been a good time for the internet gambling market to develop. Yet online casinos have still not reached their full potential. Maybe when this very unlucky day is over the gambling industry can finally forget about bad omens and move on to better things.
A decade of bad luck
The past decade was an unfortunate one for the internet casino industry. In 2006, the US Federal government passed the Unlawful Internet Gambling and Enforcement Act, completely banning online gambling. This led to Black Friday, the day that put an end to online poker sites in the US.
Originating from the Greek terms “seleno” (meaning moon) and “phobia” (meaning fear), selenophobia is a word used to describe a specific phobia, namely a strong fear of the moon.
And it wasn’t until recently that online casinos in the European Union became legal. Several European countries – including Romania, the Netherlands – still don’t have clear regulations. In Germany, the market was largely unregulated until 2008, when online gambling was outlawed. The ban was eventually struck down by the EU in 2010.
Despite their huge potential and large number of avid gamblers, most Asian countries still frown upon online casino games. Not only they’re not giving out licensed, but many states have taken measures to block foreign services too.
Australian gambling laws are also quite strange. The Interactive Gambling Act introduced in 2001 allows virtual lottery games and sports betting, but it forbids casino games. Luckily, some foreign websites accept Aussie players.
Could the Friday 13th-full moon combo be really unlucky? Not according to scientists and researchers.
Believe it or not, there is a term to describe the fear of Friday 13th too, and it’s “friggatriskaidekaphobia”. Frigga is the name of a Norse goddess who inspired the English to come up with the word “Friday” and triskaidekaphobia means fear of the number 13.
In 2008, a study conducted by The Dutch Centre for Insurance Statistics said: “fewer accidents and reports of fire and theft occur when the 13th of the month falls on a Friday than on other Fridays, because people are preventively more careful or just stay home. Statistically speaking, driving is slightly safer on Friday the 13th.”
According to some theories, the moon influences human behavior, just like it affects the tide. Some believe it’s the light of the moon that has a strange influence on people. But in 1985, a team of psychologists combined the findings of 37 studies and established there were no links between the full moon and the number of psychiatric admissions, accidents or crimes.
Despite all studies and statistics, these superstitions still tend to have a big impact on people.
When will the curse be lifted?
There is a very good reason why most casino games are called “games of chance”. Gamblers are among the most superstitious people in the world and if you’re one of them, maybe it’s best if you stay away from the casino today.
There is no way of telling how the full moon or the number 13 will influence your luck at roulette, but those of you who believe in bad juju will certainly feel relieved once this black-letter day has passed. Could tomorrow bring better days for the online gambling industry too? We certainly hope so.
With a big debate going on in America over the legalization of internet casinos and Japan still weighing its options regarding casinos, we sure hope so. Meanwhile, Europe and Australia seem to be heading in the right direction.
Starting tomorrow, the internet gambling industry has 84 curse-free years to pick itself up, grow and reach its full potential. But just in case, let’s keep our fingers crossed!