A Crazy Question for the Future

Let's put our crazy hats on for a moment and think outside the box. Did you know that there is a certain fraction of US states that have, or are now considering the regulation of some form of online gambling — as California, New Jersey, Nevada and a few others have done? There is a real connection between the loosening of gambling laws and a state's budgetary consisderations (which are eased greatly by the influx of cash from taxing casinos). A good question is, could Indiana one day legalize and regulate online gambling, and why?

 

<h2>Entertainment and Public Income, Versus Morals</h2>

 

Any state that has not been home to a particularly vehement anti-gambling lobby has an easy go at legalizing online casino games. Those that have had a staunch attitude towards games that involve risking money in bets must explain a sudden reversal on a morally sensitive issue — one that is as old as civilization.

 

Perhaps some who do open their minds to a thing that had been kept comfortably taboo basically realize this: under certain conditions (namely economic malaise) some moral stances on less critical social issues — like whether people should play cards for money — can turn out to be luxuries.

 

Policies regarding entertainment are partly economic issues most of the time. They are also social issues, including moral attitudes that people feel that drive them to take a stand. One area where folks almost always get hot blooded is anything that endangers children or threatens their peaceful upbringing. The problem of under-aged users using parents' casino accounts to gamble online, or creating fraudulent accounts, are dangers that any state that legalizes the games must address.

 

<h2>Games for Society?</h2>

 

Most states have state-run lotteries. This is a form of gambling, but at such a mild degree (with such low stakes) it is tolerated. It also generates tax cash for states' chafers, used to improve public infrastructure. California and others use the logic of simply making lottery-type games available online, and, adding some limited forms of gambling games like low-stakes poker — to manage the risk in adopting such new policies.

 

Other states like New Jersey and Nevada (competitors in the very early battle for the US online gambling marketplace) are "all in" for regulated online gambling. So, it is obvious that no state considering allowing the games has to go all the way immediately, and risk associated social problems or fallout.

 

As a case in point, Britain regulates its online bingo and casino scene, and therefore stands as a valuable example of a viable, working system elsewhere in the world — other than Nevada here in the US. Nevada's pioneering record since Las Vegas was created also includes sizable amounts of cash it raised through taxing casinos; this money was used to improve the state's educational system.

Indiana, if it ever deemed it wise to look at regulated online casinos (right now it has a somewhat rare stated prohibition against these games), could consider a very gradual ramp toward the kind of legal gaming found at top UK online casino sites. This would be the sensible, logical way to approach this issue.