Online Gambing/Casinos to "Sweep" U.S. in 2012
After reading the following ABC.com article, my questions to you are as follows: Do you think the benefits of online gambling outweigh the risks? Do you think the risks are significant enough to prevent widespread legalization of online gambling in the United States?
By Enjoli Francis
Forget the monkey or the rooster, 2012 could be the year of the gambler and experts say that while that would mean more money in states’ pockets, it could also put young people and adults at further risk of addiction.
On Friday, the Justice Department reversed its previous stand on the 1961 Wire Act — saying that it applied to sports betting but not online gambling — after years of hunting down online casinos like the billion-dollar-plus Full Tilt Poker.
Rick Bronson, chairman of U.S. Digital Gaming, said the change would give states the ability to legally operate online gambling beginning with poker and also sell lottery tickets on the Internet.
He said that poker would likely generate $12 billion a year in revenue for states and that the lotteries — already a $60 billion to $70 billion business — would continue to grow.
According to a 2010 Morgan Stanley report, analysts said that allowing Internet gambling could bring in $5 billion.
I. Nelson Rose, Whittier Law School professor and expert on gaming law, called the Justice Department move a “major Christmas present for the Internet gambling community.”
“We are about to see this explosion of Internet gambling sweep across the nation,” he said. “All we’re seeing is every single state proposing more and more legal gambling. … Gambling is seen as a painless tax, involuntary tax so it is an easy way to raise revenue without raising real taxes.”
In fact, Washington D.C. and Nevada are already poised to start online gambling, mostly poker. Kentucky’s Gov. Steve Beshear is pushing for expanded gambling in his state. And in Illinois, there are hopes that online tickets will increase sales for the lottery.
“It’s money and [states] can’t raise taxes anymore and they can’t cut services anymore so they need a way to raise money and gambling seems to pay more tax,” Rose said.
Bronson of U.S. Digital Gaming estimated that tax revenue for the states would be about 25 percent. He said online gaming would likely bring more visitors to casinos.
This would be good news for Florida, where lawmakers are set to consider a measure to bring three casino resorts to the southern part of the state. In New York, the governor is pushing for the legalization of casino gambling.
Regarding Internet gambling, Rose said states would have to require strict regulations to prevent gamblers from becoming addicts and to ensure that minors do not participate.
Keith Whyte, the executive director of the National Council on Problem Gambling, said there were a half a million youth ages 12-17 with gambling problems.
He said that youth were already gambling online and that the industry was not doing a good job preventing it.
“In some ways, we’re concerned that when these existing industries expand [under the new Justice Department rule] they’re going to do the same shoddy job of enforcing that they’re already doing,” Whyte said.
He advised states looking to jump into online gambling to first do a study on the current rate of gambling addiction among youth and gambling adults to see whether there would be a spike.
“States are looking to maximize revenue from gambling, but they also need to minimalize the social costs,” Whyte said.
I don't know if we'll ever see complete widespread gambling, as in legal in ALL states, but I don't think it would be a bad thing if it ever actually happened. Like the article says, gambling is a great form of revenue. We use the lottery here in our state to fund public school initiatives and college scholarships, and I'm sure similar programs could and would be beneficial to other states, as well. Also, I LOVE the idea of generating more income from gambling rather than raising taxes. Lastly, I do think the benefits of gambling outweigh the risks.
I also think the benefits outweigh the risks. Considering the state of the economy right now, I'm sure there are plenty of people hanging around at home, waiting to do something. Why not fill that void with online casinos.
I agree that the benefits outweigh the risks. The way I see it, the only real risk is the risk of addiction, but if alcohol is legal even though it's addictive, and cigarettes are legal even though they're addictive, why is gambling still illegal? For some reason though, people don't think it's the same thing, and until that attitude changes, I don't think we'll be able to have widespread legalization.
Yah I completely agree with you Dude, that the benefits outweigh the risks and addiction is one of the main causes that may harm in gambling. Its a clear game with balanced Mind and your wishes.
I definitely think that the benefits of gambling outweigh the risks of it, but most people see it as harmful and/or a waste of money, so I don't really think the states will ever reach a point where gambling is legal everywhere.