Many large corporations have opinions regarding the legalization of online gaming in the United States. Some are not afraid to take to the editorial pages to express those voices. USA Today was the first in recent weeks to print a condemnation of the industry and urge its prohibition. On the other hand, Bloomberg responded with a pro-gaming stance that calls for the federal legalization of the industry in America.
Whether prompted by Las Vegas Sands CEO Sheldon Adelson’s vow to outlaw online gaming or the launch of online gaming in New Jersey, there is no shortage of opinions on the topic. As more states like Mississippi and Pennsylvania begin to consider following in the footsteps of the three states that legalized Internet gambling in some form, there will likely be more strong editorials to follow. For now there are the two primary arguments from Bloomberg and USA Today.
Bloomberg: “US Should Go All In with Online Gambling”
The editorial published by Bloomberg called for online gaming to be legalized on the federal level. As various states like Nevada, Delaware and New Jersey begin the process of legalization on a state-by-state basis, Bloomberg asserts that compacting to create more liquidity will become complicated. Regulations differ by state, geolocation processes will have to be combined, and confusion might go so far as to prohibit compacts in some cases.
Two bills in Congress are on the “right track,” noted the editorial. The legalization and taxation, including oversight by the United States Treasury Department, is the ideal solution with states allowed to opt out of the program if they so choose. All forms of gambling, with the exception of sports betting, should be combined and taxed per the bills pending in Congress.
USA Today: “Internet Gambling is a Bad Bet”
The USA Today Editorial Board published its article on the day that New Jersey online gaming launched, and it didn’t mince words with its opinion, as made clear in the title. Online gaming spreads quickly and out of control, the editors stated, and it is “all but impossible to police or keep contained in one place.” The major concern is that people will have access on phones and computers around the clock, and addictions will grow. In addition, they claim that the technology used to verify ages and locations of customers can be “easily beaten.”
The article states that “it’s time for Congress to rise above its current dysfunction and pull the plug” on the Internet gambling industry. “The only thing lawmakers have to do is clarify that the 2006 law, and a 1061 law from which it drew, apply to all forms of online gaming.” In reference to the 2006 Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act and the 1961 Wire Act, USA Today claims that they can simply be hardened to ban online gaming altogether.