Sunday, October 22, 2006

Tom Bell predicts that the new anti-gambling legislation will increase gambling

He's a pretty smart dude:

The UnInGEn-ious Act thus sends a clear signal to state legislatures and the lobbyists who love them: If you legalize casino or sportsbook Internet gambling, the feds will not intervene. A single state could, by recognizing the right of its citizens to gamble on in-state or overseas websites, create many new opportunities for taxation. Those tax revenues will increase, moreover, once other states follow suit and thereby create a national market for legal internet gambling. California residents might thereby gamble in New Jersey without ever leaving home.

Legislators would get more tax revenues to play with. Consumers would benefit from easier access to gambling services and, thanks to the effects of increased competition, better odds. Bricks-and-mortar casinos and sportsbook operations would have to figure out how to upload their services, granted, but that would merely put them on the same footing as businesses like The New York Times or Home Depot.

And domestic financial services? They would win access to new and large markets in legal internet gambling transactions, markets safely sheltered from the reach of the UnInGEn-ious Act. Domestic financial services will probably not want to offer credit to gamblers, granted. Under common law, courts generally refuse to enforce gambling debts—even debts run up on legal games. But that would still leave domestic financial services free to offer gamblers debit cards and the like.

Read the whole thing. (Hat tip to Jason Ruspini).

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