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Title: The Legalization of Sports Gambling in the United States The Opening Moves of the Game
Authors: Brahm, Luke
Advisors: Cameron, Charles
Department: Woodrow Wilson School
Class Year: 2016
Abstract: All of its states in the last half century, to the point that a sizeable portion of the overall tax revenues collected by states comes from taxes on various forms of gambling. This importance is only growing as time goes on, despite fundamental changes in what gambling looks like. There are few forms of gambling that are still disallowed, the most prominent of which is sports gambling. Since 1992, only four states have been allowed to host sports gambling, with the vast majority of this activity being held in Las Vegas, and Nevada more generally. The sports betting business in Las Vegas is a sizeable and profitable arm of the overall gambling enterprise present therein, but in reality represents a fairly miniscule portion of the widely accepted amount of illegal sports gambling that occurs in this country (roughly 100 billion per year compared to 2.5 billion or so that is legally bet in Las Vegas). It is obvious then, that there exists a strong economic possibility for huge amounts of tax revenues from legalization and subsequent taxation, which should draw strong interest from state and federal governments. This paper asks whether or not the expansion of gambling is good policy, both socially and economically. In addition it hypothesizes that the road towards sports gambling legalization will be fairly long and hardly fought, and puts forward a sort of roadmap towards this happening in a timely manner. There is little concrete evidence to show that the increased accessibility of gambling will lead to a notable increase in problem gambling, and there are strong and well-founded arguments that hold the benefits to public health resulting from transparency and access to gambling cessation for problem gamblers. However, gambling is by no means unequivocally good for society. The interest groups that are associated with gambling are both sufficiently wealthy to try and influence policy and well versed enough to know how to use their money to get their agendas pushed forward. Comparing the legalization process to the recent push of recreational marijuana in the states shows us the expected endgame of such a policy. An intriguing aspect of this paper is found in the realm of Daily Fantasy Sports, a new form of sports gambling. This new form of gambling is shown to have a great amount of potential, but also a somewhat clouded future legally. This new form can be seen as a wheel greaser and precursor for online and sports gambling. The policy implications of this analysis informs us that the path to sports gambling seems to be a desired and permissible option to the public, but this does not indicate an easy or expedient path to legalization. However, there are steps that will likely take place between now and then that will help the process 5 along (DFS) though much more analysis needs to be conducted before any sure predictions can be made about what sports gambling will look
Extent: 89 pages
Type of Material: Princeton University Senior Theses
Language: en_US
Appears in Collections:Woodrow Wilson School, 1929-2017

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