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Linn-Mar Life

Sports Betting Legalized for States

Iowa Needs to Follow Suit and Tax Betting

Eli Havlik, Contributing Reporter

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Sports betting was made illegal in 1992 by the federal government. This ban was a very bad idea for the American people. Fast-forward to 2018, and sports betting is once again being legalized in many states across the country. The federal ban was lifted in May of 2018 when the Supreme Court ruled in favor of New Jersey and said that the ban violated the rights of the states to set up their own sports betting systems. Now that the federal ban is gone, the gates are opening for many states to legalize sports betting again, and for good reason. It keeps gambling money that was previously being bet on international websites in the United States, bringing in billions of additional dollars to the economy. Individual states are now allowed to put a tax on gambling, and the new rule also allows for mobile betting on smartphones, which will increase revenue even further.

Before 2018, 97 percent of all money bet on sports was done legally, on international applications. By letting the states legalize sports betting, people will begin to gamble on American websites and in American casinos. This keeps the money in the US and helps our economy. The legalization is expected to bring in an additional $2.9 billion in casinos, alone, helping to save many dying casinos nationwide. The economic impact is much larger than anyone might expect because sports gambling is one of the most common forms of gambling in casinos. In Las Vegas, sports gambling is the second biggest moneymaker for casinos behind only slot machines. Oxford University reported that the legalization could contribute $11-$14 billion to the US gross domestic product.

Many casinos, like MGM Resorts, have already released their online betting app to increase revenues even more. This also allows for people who don’t live near a casino to be able to make the same bet on a game from the comfort of their home. When gambling was banned by the federal government in 1992, people could not bet online because the internet was still pretty irrelevant. Now that it is back, the internet has grown rapidly, allowing for an entire new market for gambling.

Currently in Iowa, sports gambling is still not legal. Unfortunately, legislators here do not have any inclination to push for legislation to legalize it. The Iowa Gaming Association has pushed for the representatives in Iowa to pass a bill that would allow Iowans to wager on sports in Iowa casinos and also online for the first time in the state. This legislation passing will also help the major sports leagues in America. Legalized betting makes it far more likely that more people will tune in to watch if they have money on the games. This will raise viewership and also make their television deals with the networks even more lucrative. Look for many more states to have legalized sports betting before the next season of every sport. Currently, states who have legalized sports betting are preparing for next year to be the biggest gambling year ever in the US. It could also add to entertainment to the stadiums as many professional stadiums will look to put sports betting areas within the stadiums.

States will receive the biggest win in all of this as they will be the ones taxing the betting, once they have set up regulations.

The problem with legalizing sports betting? Many people look at this as a moral “slippery slope.” They think that legalizing sports gambling will lead to marijuana, and maybe other drugs, or even prostitution. This will be less of a problem than people think, however, because sports betting does not have the adverse effects of drugs or other practices. Some people fear that gambling addiction may become a problem for some people, however, legislators have been looking at regulations to stop people with diagnosed addiction problems.

The benefits to legalizing this form of entertainment most definitely outweigh the negatives. This is just the next form of entertainment for all people in the United States to enjoy, and will only add to the excitement of sports, adding many new fans to the sports world.

 

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