Once again, the problem of legalizing sports betting arises in Minnesota legislation. Democratic Senator Karla Bigham from Cottage Grove and Republican MP Pat Garofalo from Farmington are proposing a bill that will allow first year sports betting at local tribal casinos and then mobile betting for those who sign up for one Account in a casino. Proceeds from a state tax on the action would go to the state’s general fund, with about 0.5% going to compulsive gambling assistance programs.
“Really?” Does the state parliament have to discuss this at this point in time? Don’t the COVD-19 relief and a $ 1.2 billion national budget deficit fill the agenda?
Bigham and Garofolo say the money that would come into the state is a good thing, but the real winner would be the players who are already betting on sports through offshore locations or illegal underground operations. The state must protect them by controlling and regulating business, say the authors. It’s the same argument used by those who propose legalized marijuana. Let’s make it legal, let’s drive out the bad guys and make a few dollars while we’re at it.
There are others who point to the 25 or so states that have already legalized sports betting in some form. If they can, why can’t we? It’s the old one “All other kids have cell phones (or ripped jeans or their own car) – why can’t I?” Dispute.
‘Cause it’s bad for you boy You will figuratively be gazing out your eyes, or at least gambling away your rent or your children’s college funds.
Our objection to expanding gambling to include sports betting is the same as the one we made when we set up the Minnesota Lottery in Minnesota. State-approved gambling is a duped tax for the low-income people of the state. They are the ones most susceptible to the appeal of getting rich quick – win the lottery and watch your troubles melt away! And they are the ones who can least afford to lose the money they may spend on gambling. It is a dry way of separating poor people from their money.
Do we really need it that badly?
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