On Nov. 26, New Jersey will become the third – and by far the most populous – state to allow online gambling for money within its borders. Before more states follow suit, the US must rethink this dubious race to make gambling so easy.
A Senate hearing focused on regulating Internet gambling – even though it remains banned interstate by Congress. Such backdoor maneuvers toward legalization only reveal the commercial interests pushing this wrongheaded move.
The record Powerball jackpot is only the latest trick by states addicted to gambling revenues to lure nongamblers. Online gambling is also on the horizon, with the first legal website for games of chance now running in Nevada.
A federal court case against a New Jersey law allowing sports gambling shows why betting on sports will only damage athletic competition – as well as bettors.
A federal court ruling that poker is mainly a game of skill and thus not gambling could steer Congress down the wrong path of approving Internet gaming.
A global explosion of Internet gaming on sports has organizers of the 2012 Summer Olympics in London worried – to the point of tracking any unusual betting patterns on the Games. US states eager for online betting should heed these concerns.
California and New Jersey, each seek more revenue, are leading the states toward Internet gambling, starting with online poker. But this all-too-easy form of gaming would come with at a high cost to society – and government.