. . . until online gambling is legal in the U.S. State governments need additional revenue sources to meet budget shortfalls and gaming is a no-brainer–putting aside the moral arguments against it. Chairman of the House Financial Services Committee Barney Frank supports repeal of the federal law that effectively bans online gambling, introducing legislation to legalize gambling and provide a regulatory structure to license online casinos. The path won’t be easy. Foes on the right and left consider gambling (take your pick) immoral, anti-religious, or exploitative of the poor and vulnerable. Existing casinos don’t want competition. The gambling appetite is not inexhaustible. At some point new gambling outlets will cannabilze the business of existing casinos, online or not. But I think the stars are aligning to clear away gambling’s legal impediments.
I think online gaming should be legal. I’m not a gambler and not a gambling fan. I’ve been in casinos twice, and once was just to scope out the scene in connection with a financing we were working on. It was at 10 AM on December 24th in the mid-1990s. Foxwoods was not full but busy. It was depressing. A colleague has a sign on his office window that reads “A lottery is a tax on people who are bad at math.” True. But it’s their choice. People will gamble whether or not it is legal. States might as well tax it.