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Why sports betting should be illegal

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The Observer. Case Western Reserve University's independent student news source. Close Modal Window. Search Submit Search. When sports betting was illegal, states simply weren't making any money from it because it wasn't offered.

Following the repeal of PASPA, each state could pass laws and add regulations to tax sports betting within their borders. Along with sports betting comes money as states are allowed to tax sportsbooks as they see fit. This new form of revenue for states can go to any number of areas from schools and health clinics to construction and road work. Getting more money for states is nice, but opening sportsbooks across the states also adds new jobs.

That means new jobs at casinos or standalone sportsbooks for oddsmakers, analysts, cashiers and security. Everyone likes new jobs, especially ones that require a physical presence. Legalized sports betting also leads to more regulation and the ability for states to offer help to those suffering from addiction. If you're a casual bettor and find no joy in betting on sports, it may be best to stop wagering.

If it's become an issue, there are numerous resources that can help across the country. There are online guides , readily available access to addiction centers and a National Problem Gambling Helpline. In addition to betting in person with your friends at physical sportsbooks, legal betting just feels better than doing it illegally. While there have always been questions about the integrity of offshore betting sites, legalized sports betting will never have that problem because there are regulations and laws in place.

That's where places like DraftKings and FanDuel enter the picture, as legalized sports betting expands. Why should sports betting be legal? Safer Instead of fans flocking to offshore betting sites when they can't go to Nevada to bet on sports, legalized sports betting brings wagering to the people. More jobs Getting more money for states is nice, but opening sportsbooks across the states also adds new jobs.

More regulations Legalized sports betting also leads to more regulation and the ability for states to offer help to those suffering from addiction. More fun In addition to betting in person with your friends at physical sportsbooks, legal betting just feels better than doing it illegally. Which states in US have legal sports betting? As of , there are 21 states and Washington D. Can you bet on sports online? But while betting on sports is legal in almost half the states in the country, not all of them allow online wagering.

When was sports betting legalized? When will sports betting be legal in Indiana? Sports betting in Indiana was legalized September and online gambling launched a few months later. Is sports betting legal in Indiana? Indiana passed a bill to allow sports betting in and wagering started in October with online betting opening a couple months later.

When will sports betting be legal in Michigan? Michigan passed legislation to allow sports betting in December and the first physical sportsbooks opened March Is sports betting legal in Michigan? Michigan passed legislation to allow sports betting in December and the first physical sportsbooks opened in March Is sports betting legal in Virginia?

Sports betting is legal in Virginia and residents began betting via FanDuel in January When will sports betting be legal in Virginia? When will sports betting be legal in South Dakota? Sports betting is not legal in South Dakota, but residents passed a ballot initiative in the November election, which means it's on its way.

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The Wire Act, the Sports Bribery Act , and the Illegal Gambling Business Act were all statutes passed to target organized crime, and target their money-making businesses. While organized crime still exists and still operates illegal gambling businesses, the legal sports gambling industry is a multi-billion dollar industry filled with publicly traded companies and multinational corporations.

The industry now operates with the endorsement of many of the professional sports leagues in the United States. But by nature of statutes like the Wire Act that effectively confine sports gambling and many of the support systems for the industry intrastate, the companies that fuel the legal industry are at a disadvantage. The bookmakers themselves are forced to operate in intrastate silos of sorts, giving an advantage to operators offshore who do not have to incur these repeated costs.

In , when the Department of Justice reversed previous guidance on the Wire Act by finding the statute applied to activities beyond sports gambling, it sent shockwaves across the legal U. The New Hampshire Lottery and lottery supplier Neopollard challenged the new interpretation in federal court and prevailed, but the Justice Department appealed. The First Circuit Court of Appeals heard oral arguments in the case on June 18 , and regardless of who wins, the losing side is likely to appeal to the Supreme Court.

The issue is bigger than whether the Wire Act should apply to only sports betting or online gambling more broadly. The real issue is this: why is the federal government keeping around an outdated statute that now serves primarily as a hindrance to a legal industry doing things like funding education and roads? There has been a suggestion that laws like the Wire Act are not a big deal to the regulated industry because the government is only interested in going after organized crime with statutes like the Wire Act.

But the fact of the matter is that they could pose a threat because the language is not precise enough to confine enforcement to those still-undesirable activities like gambling operations conducted by organized crime. We have also seen the government can change its mind, as it did when they chose to reinterpret their previous guidance from that the Wire Act was intended only to apply to sports gambling. Unfortunately, the federal regulatory environment has failed to do that for the regulated gambling industry, particularly online.

The failures to adapt and repeal or update outdated federal and state laws threatens regulated gaming. There are thousands of federal laws that go virtually unenforced; likely many of them should be repealed, replaced, or modernized. But those laws impacting the gambling industry seem particularly suited to repeal or, at minimum, modernization because the industry has gone from an era without internet communication to an era where every cellphone can access the internet.

Sports gambling has gone from almost totally illegal to legal in more than 20 states and growing across the country. The fact that laws might pose a threat to the growth and success of a now-regulated market that was never conceived of when they were passed should be reason enough to update them to reflect the new reality. The laws created now should create an environment that allows legal operators and support systems to operate in a way that maximizes the benefits to the consumer and allows the legal sportsbooks to compete against those offshore who may possess some advantages that for reasons of public policy or consumer protection reasons legal operators simply will not offer.

There is, indeed, something to this, but I would first argue we need to update the laws we have to better reflect our present reality. Before the Revolutionary War — which was partly funded through lottery revenue — many in the colonies considered themselves English subjects.

As such, it makes sense that plenty of things got imported from across the pond. Some of those things were cultural staples like horse racing. The sport has roots in the 12th century , and folks have been gambling on horses running ever since.

By , horse-racing had developed into a much more organized enterprise in the United States, due to the publishing of the American Stud Book — a catalogue of all the thoroughbreds in America. But by the early s, bookmaking was outlawed in the United States and that wave nearly killed horse racing. Like for instance, at one point in time, New York State, its constitution outlawed gambling of any type.

Early machines popped up at the Kentucky Derby in the early s. Bettors took to pari-mutuel gaming quickly, finding it preferable in some ways to betting with bookies. From the early 20th century :. Accustomed to years of speculation with the slates, the majority of racegoers would no doubt prefer to continue to bet in the old familiar way. But it appears to be pretty clearly evident, after two months experience with the machines here and at Louisville, that the public will very shortly become so accustomed to the mutuels that they will bet as freely in the machines as they would in the books.

Gangsters flaunting laws during Prohibition made sure booze, violence, and bookmaking would go hand-in-hand in the public conscience. The leagues toed that party line for the next century. Sports gambling became legal in Nevada in But sportsbooks there bled dry because of a 10 percent cut the federal government took from them , which would be rolled back. Legislators put laws on the books to curb the practice of gambling again, most notably the Federal Wire Act of The law made it illegal to place bets or share information about them via wires across state lines.

Congress passed a handful of other laws relating to travel, mail, and gambling materials that forced interstate betting operations out of business or underground. But by the late s, the Commission on the Review of the National Policy Toward Gambling came to the conclusion that two-thirds of the country gambled and 80 percent approved of gambling. PASPA, signed in , required states to tell the government within a year whether they wanted to have sports gambling within their borders.

Nevada opted in with a full suite of gambling opportunities.