How much regulation is too much?
Regulating and keeping things in check play a vital role in society. If things were to run rampant, the world would be in utter chaos and we’d never be able to make any progress.
We can all agree that people shouldn’t cause harm to others, themselves or the environment. However, we don’t live in an ideal world and things like this happen, making it a necessity for regulations and governance to exist.
With that said, there comes a certain point when the regulations become too much, and crossing this threshold can mean taking away the freedom of people.
Freedom is one of the most important basic human needs that plays a vital role in the social process. Human development is a necessity for welfare improvement but cannot take place without the ability to speak, act and pursue happiness without unnecessary external restrictions.
While people’s freedom to have the abilities mentioned above should end once it begins to bring harm, sometimes these restrictions go further than that and deny people their rights for nonsensical reasons.
The desire for freedom is one of the biggest factors for the popularity of cryptocurrencies. Specifically, financial freedom. It provides people with additional independent means of exchange and gives a place to go to for those that do not believe that banks should have control over their finances. Furthermore, it allows individuals to take complete responsibility for the security of their funds.
One of the modern examples of how the government restricts its people in their freedom of choice, specifically in terms of how people choose to spend their hard-earned cash, would be Germany outlawing gambling in the country. It was during the period between 2008 and 2012 when the federal government declared gambling illegal, with the only exception being the state of Schleswig-Holstein, where gaming was defiantly legalized.
Regardless, gaming in Germany is a complex matter as it is largely unregulated. While the country has plans for an official licensing program, it still has a long way to go. One thing that is certain is that online gambling is rather popular in Germany. Furthermore, no German has ever gotten into trouble for placing bets online or for participating in online roulette.
The dangers of gambling, however, still remain and German citizens try to look to companies that are licensed in the country. In most cases, the most trustworthy platforms in the country come from international brands that set up branches locally.
According to Leo Wehmann, the chief executive of the Spinia Germany branch, international companies are usually much more welcome in the country by regulators due to already existing associations to the legality of gambling outside of Germany.
“When we first entered the market, it seemed almost impossible due to the local rules and regulations. But thanks to the European Union’s universal law of a free gambling market, having a branch set up in Germany wasn’t really a serious issue. Plus, it quickly became obvious that there was a demand for gambling in the country. Within just weeks of opening, we were already trying to expand the bandwidth of our server simply because we didn’t expect so many to log in every day.”
Regardless of the availability, presence, and demand on online casinos, things of this nature might need to be stopped quickly as one thing can lead to the next in a very short amount of time. By banning gambling, it can easily be seen as the first step towards taking away freedom and obtaining more control over the people.
While there are certainly arguments that can be made for a decision like this, things aren’t so cut and dry and an action like this can lead to many issues. Here are some of the most popular arguments against gambling:
Restricting gambling for religious reasons results in religious discrimination. The same way that attending churches and saying prayers shouldn’t, and aren’t, controlled by the government, neither should gambling even be discussed with religion in mind in the court of law.
This is not exclusive to gambling. Quite literally, anything and everything can lead to addiction. Things that you wouldn’t even believe. The Learning Channel (TLC) has an entire series dedicated to this phenomenon called “My Strange Addiction”.
Waste of Money
Once again, this isn’t exclusive to gambling. Irresponsible spendings can come from everything and arguably, the fashion industry is probably the biggest villain in this.
Furthermore, people like to spend the money that they worked hard to earn and it should up to the individual to decide how and where they wish to spend their money. Who’s to say what we should and should not be paying for? We are adults and at the end of the day, it should all come down to personal responsibility, not the government.
Germany vs. EU
Members of the European Union share similar laws with one another and are regulated by the union itself. In many aspects, it is possible to violate EU laws simply by enforcing the opposite in your country. This is exactly what Germany is doing. The EU permits gambling, while Germany on the other hand outright bans it, violating EU laws.
While a violation of EU laws can lead to detrimental effects, Germany is the biggest economy in the union. It has the largest national economy in Europe, the fourth-largest by nominal GDP in the world, and fifth by GDP (PPP). In 2017, the country accounted for 28% of the euro area economy according to the IMF.
This means that Germany holds too much value for the European Union to be very upfront with them and would instead require a more strategic approach, or just outright giving in and allowing exceptions in certain situations, resulting in further complications.