Legalized Online Gambling Gaining Traction In US

This story was published more than 12 years ago.

With the American economy struggling to grow and a deficit that is growing rapidly, many people involved in the media and in the political realm have begun to call for the legalization and regulation of online gambling.

Recently the New York Observer issued an op-ed, that argued that online gambling should be legalized, and that even by banning online gambling, people will continue to find a way to do it.

Quoting the article: "It’s no secret that local and state governments are starved for revenue. Fortunately, most have avoided broad-based tax increases that kill economic growth and the jobs that come with it. But governments have been less wise and less creative when it comes to producing new revenue streams."

The writer then focused on the state of New York, saying: "Governor Andrew Cuomo reportedly is looking into an expansion of gaming in New York, while some states are studying Washington D.C.’s recent legalization, a move that has produced a (possible) extra $9 million in yearly revenues for the city. That’s all good, because right now countless millions are being spent at the federal level in a vain attempt to crack down on on-line gambling.

"It’s a lost cause, and it’s time that governments at all levels recognize—and profit from—reality. People are going to gamble. Either governments can waste resources trying to suppress this activity, or they can legalize it and get a piece of the action.

"It is important because the state needs creative solutions to its revenue issues. The state constitutional ban on (online) casinos is out of date. Let’s get rid of it."

The piece follows a report in the New York Times that said legalized online poker may be a reality by the end of the year. In that report, the following positive indicators were referenced:

  • Senators Harry Reid (D-NV) and John Kyl (R-AZ) have begun urging the Department of Justice not to go after individual states who are trying to legalize online gambling acts at the state level.

  • Sheldon Adelson, CEO of Las Vegas Sands has taken a stance of being in favor of online regulation at a federal level. His endorsement is big, because Adelson is a large donor to the Republican Party and is close to Republican Eric Cantor, who is House Majority Leader.

  • Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-OH) has recently voiced his opinion in favor of regulation, and his former aide Lee Askew has become Vice President of Government Affairs for the American Gaming Association.

  • Last month Senator Jay Rockefeller voiced his opinion that online gambling should be legalized, saying that $41.8 billion in taxes could be raised over 10 years on the federal level, along with an extra $30 billion for states.