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Online Sports Betting in America Should Be Legal?

Sports betting online has a hard time being accepted in America
Sports betting online has a hard time being accepted in AmericaCredit: Library of Congress, public domain

Throughout America, the big question is whether online sports betting in America should be legal. After all, some people do become addicts. While working for TopBettingReviews.com as a website developer, I often wonder this myself. Despite gambling issues, America is starting to accept online betting as a legal entertainment source that strengthens tax coffers. Because it promotes tax dollars, some states are taking the issue of legalizing all forms of gambling to the Supreme Court.

As the tides are turning, organizations that are for and against gambling are making their way into news headlines. Their answers regarding whether sports betting in America should be legal may surprise you.

The state of gambling in the US

Due to a troublesome past, the Federal government limits the types of betting that can be conducted. In particular, betting on sports like the NHL, NFL, NBA, and MLB are generally prohibited in all 50 states. Primarily, organized crime in the early 1900's would often throw the games in order to keep money that gamblers placed on a certain sports team. On the other hand, betting on horses is almost always allowed anywhere online in the United States. Typically, the individual states can decide what types of gambling they want to allow online or offline with the exception of major league sports.

However, after examining the outcome of online betting for major league sports in Europe, Asia, Canada, and Australia, American lawmakers are starting to wonder why they are forced to loose out on crucial gambling related revenue.

Reasons gambling should be legal

Technically, some states already have the right to bet on any sports. A law against sports betting was developed in 1992, and it is usually referred to as the Bradley Act. Also called the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992, betting on sports was banned with the exceptions of Montana, Oregon, Delaware and Nevada. A loophole in this law mean that states that have casinos, like New Jersey, may be able to legalize gambling on sports in the near future. Nevertheless, there are plenty of voices that want to legalize betting online and offline for very different reasons.

For example, USNews.com has quotes from proponents on the team sports gambling issue. In particular, California State Senator, Roderick Wright, says, “Making sports betting legal protects bettors from fraud, theft.” Gary Payne from the International Sports Betting Association states, “Sports betting already happens; government might as well regulate it.”

The fight against legalizing gambling

In the state of Kentucky, Governor Steve Brashear is respectfully declining to honor the wishes of the Southern Baptist Convention in regards to banning gambling. Instead, the Kentucky Governor is interested in collecting gambling tax revenues. The Southern Baptist Convention stands firm in saying that expanding gambling laws in Kentucky will negatively affect families.

Contributing to this idea, a Kentucky organization called Stop Predatory Gambling says that current laws are already creating a “lottery class” of citizens with the one in five playing the game. The executive director of this organization, Les Bernal, states that, “sports betting erodes the integrity of sports.” University of Illinois professor, John Warren, says that, “sports betting means crime, addiction, and costs for taxpayers.” Nonetheless, it appears that online betting on sports of any type may be legalized soon despite proponents for and against it.

The future of online sports betting

In 2010, the State of California was looking to expand betting laws. All of the big changes were set to take place by May 2012. Sadly, California lawmakers did not follow through on their promises until 2013. In Kentucky, 87% of voters think that gambling laws should be expanded. Overseas, the World Trade Organization is wondering why America will not comply with treaties that state all forms of betting will be legal in the United States.

In other words, it is time for America to come to grips with sports betting online and offline. The wheels of change may have been slow, but lawmakers will not be able to stall forever. Until then, internet service providers will be the reluctant gatekeepers to illegal and legal forms of online sports betting.