July 30, 2010
Necessity is the Mother of Invention; Financial Necessity is the Mother of Legalized Gambling
Posted by Christine Hurt

I don't think it's any real secret that almost every decision by a government to liberalize regulation of gambling activities has a financial aspect.  And, the internet gambling prohibitions in the U.S. have been attempt to keep gambling dollars (and gambling tax dollars) in the U.S. and not see U.S. gamblers funnel dollars to offshore ventures.  (I've posted a lot about this on the Glom, but my research began with this article

Now, four years after Congress banned online gambling in a last-minute addition to the Safe Ports Act, legislation is winding its way back to legalize online gambling and let states and the federal government tax the revenue.  Story here.  The 2006 statute attempted to prohibit internet gambling by preventing credit cards, banks and other payment systems from routing any transaction with a gambling provider. 

Stay tuned for arguments for and against from various legislators and groups.  The arguments for legalization will focus on tax revenue and may champion a particular use for those funds (education, health care, etc.)  In addition, there will be the argument of resignation:  you can't prohibit it, so keep it above ground and tax it.  The arguments against will focus on minors, particularly college students, compulsive gambling and money laundering.

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