Horrors! Will Legal Betting Create a Monster?
Now here’s a novel argument against legal sports betting. A Washington gambling commissioner says the rise of the legal industry in the U.S. will not quash the black market, but water it, weed it and cause it to explode, sort of like Audrey II in Little Shop of Horrors.
As Washington State considers ending the state’s ban on sports betting, Gambling Commission Executive Director Dave Trujillo says legalizing the games could make the black market expand.
Proponents of legal sports betting have always cited three top reasons to legalize the bets:
- Because it’s already out there—offshore and in the black market—where the chief beneficiaries are crooks whose ill-gotten gains may fund criminal activities, and who can cheat players with impunity
- A legal regulated market safeguards players and benefits the states with tax revenues
- Legal sports betting will eventually drive the crooks deeper underground or, ideally, put them out of business
Trujillo disagrees. According to his logic, as sportsbooks become legal across the U.S., lots of people will naturally conclude that betting overall is socially acceptable, even when it’s conducted illegally, via an offshore website, for example.
Trujillo should give Washingtonians more credit.
As you might guess, our position at sportsquare.com is that a strong, regulated, legal betting landscape trumps the black market every time. It’s open. Aboveboard. Subject to the scrutiny of government regulators, law enforcement—and you, the player. It’s built for your entertainment, with resources for your protection.
As legal sports betting spreads around the country, we’d love to know what you think—a good thing, or a potential horror?
Talk to us at [email protected].