While federal legalization of gambling is still a ways off, state-by-state legalization is accelerating the process and making it possible to gamble legally in most parts of the United States.

While federal legalization of gambling is still a ways off, state-by-state legalization is accelerating the process and making it possible to gamble legally in most parts of the United States.

Despite the many good outcomes it could have on states and municipalities, others still argue that the dangers are not worth it. The tide of opinion may be turning, yet there may be merit to the opposing viewpoint.

Here I'll discuss the advantages and disadvantages of legalized gambling and sports betting in the United States.

The Good Sides of Legalized Gambling and Sports Betting

Here are the good sides of legalized gambling and sports betting.

It Results in Substantial Tax Income

One area where states always use improvement is in their ability to bring in tax dollars. The government's tax revenue is crucial for carrying out its duties, which include providing for things like schools, parks, infrastructure, and, of course, politicians' salaries.

Since it is still early and there isn't enough accurate data on the subject in most states, it is difficult to calculate precisely how much money legalized gambling has the potential to bring in.

New Jersey, one of the states that have plunged into the field of regulated sports gambling avidly in recent years, received nearly $50 million in tax revenue from the legalized gambling business in 2020 alone. Almost $40 million was also brought in during this period by Pennsylvania.

Legalizing something previously illegal is always justified because the government may use the tax revenue to fund essential programs. It becomes increasingly difficult to justify keeping something illegal when the state wins and private enterprises, such as the gaming industry, profit. The marijuana business has successfully piloted this approach and has now become a significant source of revenue for pioneering states like Colorado.

To what extent gambling earnings affect state budgets remain to be seen, but it appears that jurisdictions where gambling is permitted will benefit.

It Consolidates Black Market Dealings

Again drawing parallels between the pro-legalization of gaming and the pro-legalization of marijuana camps, it is argued that: After legalization, fewer people will be working illegally behind the scenes.

People will place bets on anything, including gambling, regardless of whether or not it is allowed where they are. This is especially true in sports betting, which has existed for hundreds of years regardless of whether or not there has been a legal method of processing bets and winnings.

It's not exactly ground-breaking news to suggest that organized crime and sports gambling were inextricably linked for most of the 20th century, especially in major cities. Perhaps nostalgically, the days of the "smart guys," who had to resort to specific intimidation to collect their due money from losing bettors, are almost nice to consider. States were losing money for two reasons:

  • they were spending more money than they had to try to stop the problem

  • they were not profiting from the gambling already occurring within their borders.

It's always interesting to think about the other side of the debate when making a case for legalization (in this case, sports betting legalization). Most frequently, these businesses offer this kind of service to their clientele. Once something is legitimized, there is no longer a need for their services.

These factors may explain the recent trend toward legalizing sports betting and mobile gaming. Despite the decline in criminal groups, there is still a need for a once-common service. Ultimately, it's probably best for all parties concerned if gambling were to occur in the open, under strict laws that guarantee the safety of both the casino and the gamblers.

The Ugly Side of It

Here are the ugly sides of legalized gambling and sports betting.

It's Truly Addictive

Any state would welcome the chance to increase its tax revenue by tens of millions. Still, there will inevitably be a few issues with compulsive gamblers when betting is readily available, especially when playing at real money online casinos like BetShah.

From the state's point of view, an individual who never gambles contributes nothing to the overall pool of gambling tax money, and an individual who gambles away their life savings contributes similarly little to the local economy. The great potential for addiction to gaming is often cited by those against legalized gambling and sports betting.

It's perhaps a bit exaggerated to assume that a state will suddenly collapse after legalizing gambling because its inhabitants can't handle the new obligations that come with broader access to betting. The vast majority of people who gamble do so without experiencing serious consequences or acquiring a full-fledged addiction. Unfortunately, certain people are predisposed to behavioral addictions, and the effects of legalized gambling, including internet casinos, will be felt by those people. That's transpiring right this minute.

An argument might be made that people will be more aware of the risks after legalization. The social stigma attached to gambling will likely decrease when gambling is legalized. Moreover, with the revenue that gaming facilities or online sportsbooks will make after legalization, they will be able to afford the resources that will be necessary to treat anyone suffering from compulsive gambling. This may be idealistic, but all parties have potential benefits if marijuana is legalized.

The Sports' Integrity May Be Compromised

There have been sports betting scandals at various levels of competition throughout sports history. Dozens have indeed been uncovered, and it's also true that many more have taken place without ever being disclosed. However, is this a major issue when weighed against the vast number of games being played?

Tens of millions of Americans support efforts to keep sports honest. However, all of the previous gambling scandals occurred when sports betting was illegal. Thus, it is hard to predict that betting's legal status will significantly impact the frequency of these events.

One of the most cherished principles in sports is an emphasis on fair play. The potential for sports betting abuse exists wherever there is a financial incentive that overcomes an athlete's commitment to ethics.

Bribery of players, coaches, or officials might be reduced if the practice were legalized, with accompanying laws. There will be more controversies involving illegal gambling in the future. The only unanswered question is whether or not its incidence would increase from historical norms.


Sports betting and online casino gambling have been controversial topics for decades, but public opinion has finally swung in favor of legalization.

Legislators have come to the astute conclusion that people will continue to gamble on sports regardless of the legal climate and that collecting a cut of the action is in their best interest. Only some states are on board, but support is growing, and general legalization will probably occur soon.

Updated On 28 Dec 2022 5:11 PM GMT
Deepanshu Rao

Deepanshu Rao

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