Why It Should Be Legal To Gamble Online

The issue of online gambling has stark opinions on both sides of the issue. There are those all the way up on Capitol Hill who have long been in favor of the practice, although those who are against it remain on the winning side, for now.

As we continue on the path through the 21st century though, and with the accessibility of the Internet and Internet betting extending beyond the computer screen, legislators at both the state level and federal level need to take a hard look at the positives to legalizing online gambling in the United States.

And in fact some are.

Recently in February of 2013, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie signed a bill into law making online gambling legal in the state for a 10-year provisional period. The bill was accompanied by a five percent tax increase from 10 percent to 15 percent at Atlantic City casinos as well. But the main focus was on the online gambling legalization, for which Christie had been an advocate for some time.

New Jersey joined Delaware and Nevada as the only states in the U.S. to pass forms of online gambling laws that would allow for regulation of the activity in their states.

Citing a number of positive benefits to legalizing online gambling in the state, it was most notably a boost in the struggling sector of the casinos for which estimates increase the revenue from $235 million to $436 million. That's an increase of $200 million strictly from gambling revenue.

Here lies one of the main points behind the reason that advocates of online gambling, like Christie and the state of New Jersey, believe that online gambling can help the state economies.

There is a strong belief that online gambling can be conducted safely, efficiently, and responsibly, with New Jersey set to be the latest example. But what are some other reasons that online gambling should be legal in the United States?

Well it boils down to a few key factors.

Legalizing online gambling in the U.S. would legitimize the industry. No longer would USA bettors have to go to offshore online sportsbooks and casinos that accept U.S. players to place legal wagers where money is pouring in and out of these sportsbooks when it could be helping the economy in the United States.

Piggybacking off of that idea, is the fact that despite online gambling being outlawed in the U.S., there are still ways for bettors to go out and place an online wager within the confines of the law. In other words, people are going to gamble whether it is legalized or not, so why not legalize and legitimize the industry to regulate it? Doing so would allow those bettors who place money at offshore betting sites to now place legal wagers at U.S. betting sites.

If this were to happen, the government could then choose to impose tax regulations on the newly formed legalization of online gambling in the U.S. Here is where revenue generated from online gambling can then come back to help the state and federal economies on the whole. The online gambling that takes place currently at these offshore accounts are in no way generating tax revenue for the economy, which can be large sums that is missed out on. It seems to only make sense that the money being wagered by U.S. bettors should be taxed and regulated, and can be done by legalizing the practice.

There are already measures being taken at offshore sites to go against underage online gambling, which those against the legalization of online gambling believe could be a problem. But safety and security of legal online gambling sites are a very high priority, and steps can be taken to ensure that this doesn't create a problem.

Another argument against legalizing online gambling is that it could be a catalyst for problem gamblers. But the response to this is twofold. First, problem gamblers are going to gamble regardless if it is legal or not. Second, there has been no conclusive study or evidence presented that validates this notion that the floodgates for problem gamblers would be opened.

To sum, the legalization of online gambling has more benefits than potential problems, and if implemented correctly, it can only help state economies and drive up total revenue in the state. Those who are looking to make a move towards legalizing online gambling in the U.S. will likely be watching New Jersey closely over the next several years to see how the regulations and rules in place are working. From there, we could start to see the federal government switch their position.