It seems that not a month goes by before we are reading about the latest poll that’s taken place asking if sports betting in the US should be legalized or not. The latest one, a Public Mind telephone poll, recently revealed that the majority of American citizens are in favor of legalizing sports betting across the country, but that isn’t really a surprise because it seems that nearly every survey that gets commissioned regarding gambling comes up with the same result.
What’s more interesting regarding this poll is that not only did they ask if sports betting should be legalized, but also if they thought that most Americans are already involved in illegal sports betting and that question also came back with a resounding yes, again…no surprise there then. Surely now, after yet another poll coming out with the same result, Americans want sports betting legalized, the time as come to listen to what people want and the laws and rules around gambling need to start being changed accordingly. I don’t think that anybody is saying that all gambling restrictions should be lifted instantly, but surely at least there now needs to be some discussions about relaxing the rules around sports betting and in the future, plans put in place to eventually give the people what they have been asking for.
When taking a massive decision such as this, then even though legalizing sports betting will generate a massive amount of income for the individual states, some people are going to be concerned about the effect that it will have when it comes to people getting addicted to gambling. They will argue that by making sports betting legal, they are going to be opening the door and putting more people at risk of developing a gambling addiction but I’m not sure that will be the case. You only have to take a quick look at other countries where sports betting IS legal to realize that a lot of those reservations are unfounded, and just because a country allows sports betting to take place, doesn’t mean that they have now created a nation of gambling addicts and some would even argue that by legalizing sports betting, what they have done is brought it from out of the side streets and back alleys and put it on the high street in full view of everyone. What that means is the rules and regulations will also be a lot stricter around sports betting and will be controlled unlike it is now. People will be less likely to become addicted as they have taken away the seedy side of sports betting and made it into a legitimate business, therefore people no longer need to hide what they are doing and surely that can only be a good thing as people aren’t going to feel that stigma attached to sports betting and won’t be breaking the law by taking part in it.
The world of gambling is changing and the US needs to embrace those changes or risk being left behind, and for a country that’s widely regarding as pioneers, it’s a surprise to many people throughout the world that the laws surrounding gambling still seem to be stuck in the past.