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Will Governments Ever Catch Up with the Innovations in the Tech World?

July 18
9:51 AM 2017

Will Governments Ever Catch Up with the Innovations in the Tech World?

Uber has come under a lot of scrutinies lately. In many countries that it has entered, local cab companies are protesting its spread, claiming that it offers services that are far too similar to their own without having the same legal restrictions and regulations apply to it. Ride-hailing services are not the only ones that cause trouble, though - there are many other areas where we've seen massive development. Startups are continuously disrupting a series of areas, from personal development to drones and autonomous vehicles, and these innovations are often simply not covered by the existing legal framework. When will governments be able to regulate and control these services and products - or will they ever?

An old example

A little over two decades ago, an ingenious startup from the UK has launched a brand new online service. By combining its game development expertise with the secure online payment methods developed by another startup to launch the first fully functional real money online casino. Over the years, the online casino business kept spreading and evolving, culminating in the accessible, safe and secure gambling at 7Sultans we know today. The 7Sultans is an example of a long-time provider of online services - it was launched in 1999, and it has been in business ever since, adapting to the requirements of an ever-changing public. It is a venue with a global reach - the 7Sultans is open for players from the Americas to Australia - yet with an ambiguous legal status in many parts of the world.

The gambling laws of certain countries are outdated and controversial at best. In Canada, for example, online gambling is a state monopoly, yet the provincial lottery operators - the only companies that can legally offer players such services - have failed to do so for years. At the same time, there's nothing stopping players from visiting the 7Sultans and its likes, leading to a pretty sensitive situation. In Australia, the situation is similar - local companies are banned from offering such services to Australian players but there's nothing stopping locals from visiting offshore operators to play their favorite games. The Australian law governing gambling has been valid since 1991, years before the online gambling phenomenon's beginnings.

The wheels of laws are turning slowly

If online gambling is still governed by laws that were enacted before the mid-1990s, simply inapplicable to a two-decade-old innovation, how can we expect the lawmakers to keep up with the rapid change the tech world is undergoing today? Startups like Uber have been around for years, and drones - another innovative product category that has blast into our world recently - have also been flying around for quite some time, yet the regulations and laws seem to be very slow in keeping up. Today, we can only speak about slot machines, rides, and flying toys - but how about the time when artificial intelligence, robots, and similar innovations appear?

How will governments be able to handle the ethical and legal gimmicks of truly disruptive technologies?

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