Why the Online Gambling Industry is Beneficial for the US - Los Angeles Post-ExaminerLos Angeles Post-Examiner

Why the Online Gambling Industry is Beneficial for the US

The legal status of gambling has been hotly debated over the last few decades, with many states eager to follow in the footsteps of Nevada, only to be shot down by strict regulations. In 2017, the Supreme Court of the United States overturned a law (the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act, or “PASPA”) that essentially monopolized the gambling industry in Nevada’s favour, opening the floodgates for many other states to embrace legal gambling in all its forms.

This new approach seems to have been well received by lawmakers and citizens alike, but there are still many detractors who fail to see the benefits that gambling could provide, pointing to a potential increase in social issues and crime due to the rise in legal gambling. In actual fact, legalizing gambling could bring a plethora of benefits to the US and many states are already enjoying these benefits.

The Tax Benefits are Huge

As noted by https://www.gamblerogersfest.com, a site that has closely followed the PASPA invalidation process, legal gambling generates a significant amount of tax dollars for local communities. In 2017, this amount was just shy of $10 billion, and this was before the rush of legal gambling that occurred this year and last.

The US has taken a hard line on sports betting and legal casino gambling for a long time and the desperation this has caused has allowed them to get away with charging higher license fees and tax rates than you would find in other countries. Some state casino licenses are selling for tens of millions of dollars, a fraction of the amount charged in other countries.

The US also taxes individuals on their gambling winnings, which is something that you rarely find in other countries and something that also adds to the government coffers.

The Financial Pros Outweigh the Cons

The financial pros and cons of legal gambling are often split between the social cost (addiction, alcohol-related crime, community care) and taxes. They look at all the possible negative effects of gambling, along with the knock-on effects, and compare these to the tax income, often arriving at a number that’s deep in the red.

But there are a few things wrong with this. Firstly, gambling addiction will exist regardless of legality. In fact, Americans already gamble huge sums of money every year and gambling addiction was a major problem before the invalidation of PASPA. It would be unfair to suggest that every penny lost to gambling addiction is the direct result of legal gambling, simply because gambling addicts existed before and would exist regardless.

Secondly, many of these issues would be present with hotels, bars, and other grand projects. Anywhere you invite people to let loose and drink, and anywhere that is open to hordes of domestic and international tourists, will cause some degree of unrest.

Finally, and most importantly, the financial benefits aren’t all tax related. Legal casinos help the local economy in many more ways. These venues pump billions into the state economy, creating millions of jobs and attracting millions of tourists. These benefits are greater than the tax benefits and can greatly improve the GDP of a state. Nevada is proof of this, as it has become the 27thrichest state in the US based almost entirely on tourism and “vice” industries.

It Reduces Organized Crime

Illegalizing gambling doesn’t stop people from placing bets, just like criminalizing drugs doesn’t stop people from using. These laws simply place the power and control in the hands of organized crime gangs and low-level criminals, with the money being used to fund further criminal activities.

Illegal bookmaking was commonplace throughout the United States and it will no doubt remain in some form, but now that this activity has been legalized, it takes the money away from organized criminals and provides a safer avenue through which gamblers can place their bets.

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