Just a matter of time . . .

. . . 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.

3 thoughts on “Just a matter of time . . .”

  1. As an NJ citizen, I can tell you that the state government of NJ is ready to challenge the constitutionality of the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1991, which only allows online and retail sports betting operations in a few states, in order to raise gaming revenue in NJ. Currently in NJ, you can only bet on horse races and only at the Atlantic City casinos, but this challenge will open up the entire sports book operations to casinos and online operations.

    Personally, I only play poker which I consider a game of skill (most of the time), and I only prefer to play at a real table because there is too much chance of cheating/collusion/tech glitches online. Still, I feel gambling is a personal choice, and although a vice for the irresponsible, I think states should be able to utilize it as a revenue source. There should also be mechanisms in place to keep online betting revenue sources in domestic accounts, instead of outsourcing this juicy business offshore to questionable Caribbean banks.

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