Despite its somewhat more conservative attitude towards gambling, the United States is gradually starting to warm to the idea of allowing people to indulge in this leisure activity. That doesn’t mean it’s completely legal in every state. Only certain forms of gambling are legal and are so only in certain states, depending on where you are in the US.
Below is a look at some of the different forms of gambling it’s possible to participate in legally in the US, depending on your location and the state in which you habitually reside. The post also contains an exploration of the different benefits that gambling offers the economy.
Although online casino gaming is a lot more restricted in the US than other forms, you’re free to gamble away at certain state-regulated online casinos if you’re a resident of state like New Jersey or if you’re visiting and the laws of your own state allow you to play casino online. Not sure where you can gamble online? You can find legal sites here.
Some states are still reluctant to allow fantasy sports, but many have welcomed fantasy sports, considering them a game of skill, which makes them legal. New Jersey, ever liberal, has legalized fantasy sports.
The US Supreme Court decision to permit states to decide for themselves whether they wished to legalize sports betting was a huge decision. Several states have already permitted this or are in various stages of implementing laws to allow sports betting to become legal, although some are taking time to legalize online sports betting.
Online poker is still largely outlawed in the US at the moment, but not completely. Nevada, New Jersey and Delaware are all onboard with online poker.
Lotteries are popular in the States. However, online lotteries are a little less popular and not so many states have legalized them. Only a few states have permitted online lotteries and several others are still considering this.
The economic benefits of legalizing online gambling
Legalizing gambling can bring several different benefits to the economy. Below are some of the major ones:
Tax revenue for the government
This has to be the most obvious advantage to legalizing gambling. Casinos and other betting establishments generate huge sums of money and the taxes they pay can swell up state coffers considerably. Then the state can direct some of these tax dollars into healthcare, education or however else it sees fit.
Of course, whether creating an online gambling service or setting up an establishment for gaming of any kind, the project is going to create lots of employment.
On the online side, the operator will have to hire technical experts such as web developers, game designers, consultants and other specialists. On the brick-and-mortar establishment side, the establishment may have to hire croupiers, reception staff, catering staff, door staff, managers and supervisors, and more, depending on the type of establishment.
Boost local retail
Establishments such as casinos can have a significant impact on local retail, especially if people are visiting the casino as part of their holiday and decide to spend money on museums and other local attractions.
Gambling establishments help local retail by generating greater footfall for the businesses near them. People may visit a restaurant or a bar before they go to a casino. They may also do a little shopping while they’re in the area or check out any nearby leisure facilities.
Can curb illegal gambling
Unfortunately, the fact that some forms of gambling are illegal doesn’t mean that some citizens somewhere don’t practice them. Betting and other forms are done very secretly and very delicately. Authorities and law enforcement have trouble keeping on top of covert gambling activities.
Legalizing gambling, however, could help to counter the problem of unaccounted-for money within the economy. Crime syndicates may use the money they generate from gambling to finance other illegal activities. The legalization of gambling could stifle the materialization of unaccounted-for money and the activities that people operating on the wrong side of the law use it for.
Generates interest in sport
The legalization of sports betting can trigger a wider interest in sport, whether that’s local, national or international. Allowing a little money to come into play will encourage people to support local sports teams or events, potentially generating extra money for the local economy, as well as enabling the teams or individuals to continue competing.
America has been uncomfortable with gambling in the past but is gradually opening itself up to this leisure activity, even if this is taking a little time. Legalizing different types of gambling could be just what states need if they’re to boost their economy. Some are considering this, but will they give legalization the go-ahead? Time will tell.