Online gambling will soon be coming to Nevada and a number of other states looking to cash in on this very profitable activity. It became a reality last year when the U.S. Justice Department granted states the power to legalize online gambling connected to actual casinos, i.e. Caesars Palace. Nevada, is the first state to pass a law legalizing online gambling, and is working through red tape and regulations. If all goes according to plan, advertising for online gambling, according to Ad Age, will begin in January. Other states such as New Jersey and California will follow suit, as casinos in New Jersey are losing business to casinos in New York and Connecticut. Lotteries in the United States rake in an estimated 18 billion dollars per year, so there will be much upside to online gambling. This is especially the case when so many states are facing huge budget deficits. It will also be a jackpot for on-line advertisers who, according to Ad Age stand to earn between 3.5 and 4.0 billion dollars per year. Overall, it seems like a win for everyone. However, there is of course a downside which hasn’t been discussed. Gambling should be a social activity, much the way drinking is a social activity. It’s not a lottery where people buy tickets, put them in their wallets and check to see if they’ve won at the newsstand the following day. Part of what makes gambling fun, is the excitement; the lights, the people, the overall environment of the casino. If someone sits at home and gambles, one would think that person has a gambling problem. It’s no different from the person who sits home and drinks by themselves. Despite the revenue, I’m not in favor legalized, on-line gambling. It will tempt and enable people, who have a serious problem, and who otherwise wouldn’t be able to travel to Las Vegas or Atlantic City, 24 hour access, to their drug of choice.
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