Sports Gambling: A Gamble on Gambling?

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Alexander Yagoda

Legalizing gambling is a gamble itself.

Alexander Yagoda, Staff Writer

Sports betting, as well as most gambling, has generally been reserved for the only state where all of it is legal: Nevada, with most casino gambling in Las Vegas. However, the Supreme Court effectively overturned the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992 (PASPA) to allow sports gambling in the state of New Jersey on Monday, May 14. This comes after many debates over the legality of the federal government regulating gambling, as the 10th Amendment reserves all rights not explicitly given to the federal government for the state government—which includes gambling regulations. Despite this, it still isn’t a good idea to allow gambling nationwide.

“Sports gambling doesn’t seem all that bad, but it could lead to other kinds of gambling, which could be bad,” freshman Laura Delgado said.

One of the things that makes Las Vegas such an attractive domestic tourist destination is that you can gamble there, an activity that is generally regarded as unhealthy because win rates are often much lower than advertised, and it can lead to issues like gambling addictions. Since all the gambling is concentrated in one state, however, it allows Nevada to remain as a token state known for its gambling and vibrant nightlife. As a result, the vast majority of the Las Vegas economy, and much of the economies of other cities in Nevada, are centered on gambling and casino events. If other states then legalized gambling, as some are trying to do now with the repeal of PASPA, the attractiveness of Las Vegas would decline, wrecking the local economy.

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Legalizing sports gambling isn’t a bad thing, it’s basically more of just office brackets, but people can lose all their money.”

— sophomore Thomas Morcillo

In addition to that, there also comes the cost of bringing the possibility of gambling addiction to the entire country. It is one thing to go to Vegas for the weekend and splurge some money, but to be able to do that every week would mean that many people with addictive personalities would suffer as a result. Claiming that the legalization of sports gambling opens the door for all gambling might seem to be a stretch, but doing so would likely spark more debates over the federal government’s power to regulate gambling nationally.

Overall, while the door is now open for the legalization of sports gambling, and therefore all other kinds, to step through the door would not be a great idea as it would also allow widespread chronic gambling addiction and have an extremely negative effect on Nevada’s economy.