The Legalization of Gambling, Is it Beneficial?

The legalization of sports gambling amounts to a class war against you.

The advent of gambling through mobile apps will have the same transformative effect on individuals’ financial situations that Facebook did on public discourse.

We are now one week away from the Super Bowl, which is shaping up to be the Super Bowl with the most wagers placed on it in the annals of American history. This is due to the fact that legal sports betting, which was once confined to a handful of small towns with a reputation for debauchery, is now fast expanding across the country. A number of states have just recently legalized betting through mobile applications, which is a combination of the fact that gambling is inherently addictive, the fact that technology has the ability to be addictive that has been algorithmically perfected, and the fact that players are guaranteed to lose in a sucker’s game. It’s possible that this will turn out to be one of the worst developments in public policy in recent memory.

Is it Legal?

We are only just now beginning to witness the results of the judgment made by the Supreme Court in 2018 that made it possible for states to allow sports betting. Already, roughly thirty percent of Americans are able to do so, and experts predict that number will rise to eighty-three percent by the end of the next year. Residents of Louisiana and New York are already being inundated with adverts for mobile sports betting apps following recent legalization of the practice in those states. Bets by New Yorkers totaled one billion dollars and were placed in a little over a month’s time. We are in the very early phases of something that has the potential to be quite unhealthy in the very near future.

The odds on various sporting events

This is not your typical screed against gaming at any level. It’s true that the odds in sports betting, just as in every other kind of gambling, are predetermined so that the house will always come out on top in the end. States like to think of the tax revenue they bring in from legal gambling as “free money from heaven,” but in reality, it amounts to a regressive tax on citizens. It is targeted most intensely at those citizens who are so desperate for financial salvation that the dwindling hope provided by the idea of hitting the lottery is worth the certainty that you will not, in fact, hit the lottery. Rich people should be the focus of state governments’ taxation efforts if the latter are serious about increasing their coffers’ contents. They shouldn’t try to pass off a tax on low-income people as a game or act like it’s not a tax at all. Citizens are the people who participate in gambling activities; another word for gamblers is “gamblers.”

The fact that, for the very first time in history, we are going to mix the mathematical certainty of monetary loss that is inherent in gambling with mobile applications presents a risk that is unique to the recent surge in popularity of sports betting. We are going to put the capacity to instantly bet on sports into the pockets of every single individual on the planet, and we are going to do it in a way that is engineered by the unrelenting improvements of Big Data to be aesthetically beautiful, frictionless, and addicting. In the same way that junk food is scientifically developed to enchant our palates, sports betting apps will also be engineered to induce compulsive gambling in the near future. Consider the impact that the algorithms used by Facebook have had on the political dialogue in our country. That is the potential impact on the individual financial situations of millions of residents that could result from the full legalization of app-based sports betting. And state officials all throughout the country, anxious for their share of the rake just like every other scumbag casino investor, are gleefully ushering it into reality with a smile on their face as they do so.

The Impact of Providing Unrestricted Gambling Opportunities to Everyone Via Mobile Devices

It should go without saying that providing “problem gamblers” in the United States, who are believed to number 6.6 million, with universal access to unrestricted betting on their cell phones will have a devastating impact on their lives. However, this only accounts for a relatively little portion of the overall issue. More economically significant will be the tens of millions of additional people who, without even realising it, will be enticed to gamble a few more times here and there as a result of the convenience and welcome aspect of having it right in their pockets. These bets will add up to many billions of dollars lost each year; while this amount is not enough to bankrupt the casual user, it will be a genuine slice of their earnings that will be poured into the coffers of investors in major gaming businesses.

Mega-corporations, aided by big tech and encouraged by starving governments, are using this as one more way to reach into the pockets of regular people and take something out. When you look at what is happening here with an open mind, you will see that this is just the most recent small assault in the class war. When app-based sports betting is legalized, the overall effect will be that regular people will, on average, lose a certain amount of money that they were not losing before, and they will receive nothing in return. Meanwhile, the investor class will be enriched by the money that was lost by regular people. Taxation by cowardice and funding by dysfunction are both strategies pursued by states that covertly encourage their subjects to lose this money. Ironically, the long-standing mission of the right wing to drive down tax rates and deprive governments of revenue is the very thing that creates the environment in which regulators will reach for any solution to get themselves funding, even if it is one that is clearly destructive and regressive in nature. The rich get richer, the regular suckers get poorer, the money is funneled upwards, and public services are forced to obtain their funding by ripping off the public that they are supposed to serve. Legal gambling, then, is the perfect example of a right-wing con: the rich get richer, the regular suckers get poorer, the money is funneled upwards, and so on.

I am aware that it is not a good idea to use the word “dystopian” too much since it runs the risk of having its meaning watered down, but: The combination of gambling with the power of big tech to manipulate the human brain is dystopian. It is just as dystopian as, say, legalizing heroin and turning the entire industry over to the world’s biggest tobacco companies with no regulation on advertising or free samples, and lending them the world’s most powerful supercomputers to design their marketing strategy. Both of these scenarios have the potential to happen. It does not take a genius to figure out who the predators are and who the prey are when it comes to whose side of these policies serves which. If you come across somebody who is trying to convince you that any of this will result in positive outcomes, you should always question yourself where that person’s money is coming from. It most likely originates from your end.

I hope you have success with your wagers.

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