With lobbyists on both sides of the argument, gambling and its legalization are hot topics in today’s society. Some people think it’s an overwhelmingly positive thing for both the economy and the individual casino player, while others feel that it’s a gateway to financial ruin and hardship.
But what is gambling in the first place? Is poker gambling or not? Is gambling are games that are only based on chance? What are the pros and cons of the legalization of these games? Many questions need to be answered to have a serious discussion.
If you have to choose, would you say that legal gambling is good or bad?
Today, we’ll look at the most prominent benefits and drawbacks and talk about common misconceptions people have about legal gambling.
Benefits of legal gambling
It’s proven in practice that legal gambling can have a lot of positive impact on both the individual and the community. With that in mind, let’s look at some of the most significant advantages it can have on both parties:
Safety of players
Most people who visit land-based casinos do so because they want to have fun with their friends or socialize with other players in the venue.
When doing so, they should always have the peace of mind knowing that they’re going to a safe and secure place and that they won’t encounter any unpleasant or unexpected experiences while gambling.
Today’s legal gambling is very different from that from fifty or more years ago.
Nowadays, gambling it’s a perfectly legal branch of the entertainment industry.
Regulated online casinos are also much safer since players can always reach out to authorities if anything goes wrong. Therefore, casinos will not risk their licenses by not paying out your money or doing other shady stuff.
It’s very important to distinguish between legal and illegal operators, as players’ safety is a guarantee that all legal casinos make.
Additional Tax Revenue
Before the mass popularization of gambling in the past few decades, there were many criticisms of its negative impact on the economy. Today, economists look at it from an entirely different perspective.
Many states and countries around the world have legalized gambling to create a richer tax base.
When properly regulated, it can be used as an effective tool for boosting tax revenue and developing the local economy.
Increased tax revenue is a massive benefit on its own but is even more striking when you consider all of the additional positive effects it can bring to the city’s or region’s economy.
With a richer local community, the crime rates drop down, and the overall standard of all people rises. There are many examples globally, as most gambling locations are very well-developed and have a stable and strong economy.
Aside from the additional tax revenue brought into the economy, legal gambling helps create a healthy economic climate simply because it creates many jobs.
This adds up to hundreds, sometimes even thousands of employees on the casino’s payroll.
This is only the direct impact the casino has, without looking into the deeper, more significant indirect one on a local community.
A land-based casino helps increase revenue and cash flow for all local businesses that operate in the same area. Bars, restaurants, shopping malls, and small businesses all benefit from the additional cash circulation.
Brick and mortar casinos can attract tourists
Although the term “casino tourism” might not be the first thing that comes up to mind when talking about gambling, it is very much a popular trend in the industry.
Cities like Las Vegas and Macau have practically built their entire identities around legal gambling and gambling-related tourism.
This is because casinos in major gambling areas like Wynn have evolved into much more than just gambling houses. Today, they are almost an entirely separate sector of tourism. They are fully-equipped entertainment resorts.
Major casinos often host high-budget shows, famous artists’ concerts, stand-up performances, and other stunning live acts.
There are even family-friendly casino resorts where you can take your entire household on a trip. The UK gambling industry is a great example of how a well-regulated gambling sector promoted casino tourism and boosted the local economy.
Cons of Legalizing Gambling
While there are many more advantages than disadvantages when it comes to legalized gambling, it’s still a subject that polarizes people, mainly because of one significant drawback some players encounter – compulsive gambling.
It can create an addiction for some players
There’s no way of going about the topic of gambling without addressing one potential concern, and that is addiction.
Irresponsible gambling puts you in danger of losing money that you can’t afford to spend.
Research shows that less than 5% of gamblers may suffer from gambling addiction. Of course, this is still not a negligible number, as every player should be well taken care of if he suffers from such problems.
To create a safe gambling environment, casinos and local regulatory bodies need to establish a system that offers help to those facing gambling addiction.
Combating gambling addiction depends on the protection mechanisms available to the player.
The United States in the 20s and the Prohibition Era have shown us the consequences of illegalizing such activities. This is why it’s always better to have a legal system in place than to play at illegal casinos.
Summary: If You Gamble – Make It Legal
For most casino players, gambling is a safe and entertaining pastime that can win them some money while benefiting the local economy at the same time. Legal gambling can be good, but due to its nature, it carries some risks you need to be careful about when indulging in it.
To wrap up this page, we’d like to leave you with one important note.
It’s critical to keep in mind that making gambling illegal isn’t the solution.
Pushing an activity underground will only highlight its negative aspects. With legal gambling, the players can enjoy a safe environment, maybe even be playing poker for a living, and rely on professional help if they encounter any problems.