States Want Legalized Gambling, Sports Betting Now

Written by:
C Costigan
Published on:
States Legalized Gambling

With the recession and individual states hurting for ways to make money, over the next several months right into 2010 we will be reading a lot here at about states wanting to get into the legalized gambling industry, everything from sports betting to online poker.

On Monday we reported on how Massachusetts Republican Governor candidate Christy Mihos wants the state to legalize wagers on professional and college sports, saying the industry could boost the sagging state Lottery and flush cities and towns with over $1 billion annually.

"We could do this very quickly and solve the revenue problem," Mihos, a convenience store magnate, told the News Service on Friday.

He claimed that Massachusetts averages $829 per capita spending on the state Lottery, far above states like New Jersey.  Mihos also believes that sports betting can generate $400 billion.

Ohio is also looking to get into the act.

The industry's deep pockets have helped soften opposition to introducing new forms of gambling in many of those states, including, perhaps, Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland's last-minute embrace of slot machines at horse racetracks, government watchdogs say. Now, Strickland and legislative leaders want to cut off -- or at least limit -- the flow of gambling money into their own campaigns, saying the curbs would reinforce confidence in state government.

Likewise, Republican John Kasich said last night that, if elected governor, he would not rule out an expansion of gambling in Ohio.

And things are looking promising according to Moody's. 

The state of Ohio is likely to legalize gambling in less than 12 months, a move that may put a strain on gambling facilities in neighboring states, the Moody's report said on Friday.

Even Connecticut, which is home to two popular Indian casinos, believes it needs to expand further into the gambling sector.

A study on Connecticut's legalized gambling has found that the state has made a lot of money, but failed to capitalize on the revenue from the casino industry.

New Jersey and Delaware Already Paving The Way

When Delaware and New Jersey began actively pursuing legalized sports betting as a way to generate revenue, many believed this would open the flood gates, and indeed it has.

But their efforts have come with a price. The four major pro sports leagues and the NCAA asked a federal judge Tuesday for a preliminary injunction to prevent Delaware from implementing its sports betting plan.  With the motion, filed in federal court in Delaware, the leagues provided declarations from NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and NBA Commissioner David Stern outlining their fears of how their sports would be affected. The DOJ has also asked the courts to prevent New Jersey Governor Jon Corzine from joining a lawsuit in his state.

But odds favor Delaware at least being able to move forward, and this should allow other states to do the same.

From the Daily Press Opinion page:

"If Delaware continues down the path of legalized sports gambling, it could shred the very fabric of athletics in this great nation. It could open up sports to all manner of nefarious influences and damage the very credibility of the games we cherish."

Christopher Costigan, Publisher 

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