From Robert Whitcomb's "Digital Diary,'' in GoLocal24.com:
As GoLocal has reported, states are awaiting with great interest a Supreme Court ruling in a case, Christie v. NCAA, that will presumably determine whether online betting is to be legalized. The justices are supposed to decide if the federal Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992 is constitutional. This law outlawed sports betting, except in Oregon, Delaware, and Montana and licensed sports pools in Nevada.
With Rhode Island and many other states facing budget deficits that must be addressed annually, their powerful temptation will be to heavily mine tax online betting, especially as more state lotteries and brick-and-mortar casinos report revenue declines. (All states except Vermont mandate a balanced state budget; even Vermont always balances its budget – Yankee rectitude.) The proliferation of casinos in southern New England is leading to cannibalization of the market.
If the Supremes clear online sports betting, of course, revenues, and thus states’ take, might fall off sharply at the physical casinos and state lotteries, but that would probably be more than offset by taxing the Niagara of revenue from online betting, which is so easy to do in the comfort and privacy of home, sweet home.
I doubt that opening up yet another venue in which people can gamble would improve society. It would probably lead to thrown games and other corruption in sports. But online betting would be great news for pawn shops and loan sharks. Invest early!