Is it worth the gamble? - Opinion

Is it worth the gamble?

Posted: Wednesday, May 23, 2018 8:25 am

In a 6-3 ruling last week, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down a federal law banning gambling on sports, and made the choice to permit it a matter to be determined by each state. Given the power of the gaming lobby, the apparent human proclivity for gambling and the nearly irresistible pool of taxable wealth that legal gambling produces, it’s hard to imagine that states will not be welcoming of sports betting.

In its simplest sense, the debate regarding sports betting focuses on the conflict between “sin” and social ills on one hand and the marketplace and individual autonomy on the other. The arguments pro and con are similar to the ones surrounding alcohol and cigarettes, which are legal; marijuana, which is legal or restricted in just a few places; and hard drugs and prostitution, which are overwhelmingly illegal: Do you legalize and regulate, or criminalize to stop the spread of the behavior?

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