Will a Greater Acceptance of Gambling Adversely Impact the Deep South Way of Life?
Over the years, lawmakers in the Southern states have made several attempts to change the status quo. However, it appears changes are still far from likely. Opposition from conservative forces remains formidable. It also did not help that the COVID-19 pandemic has critically hit the United States, causing legislative bodies to encounter difficulties in tackling the matter.
Gambling is incompatible with conservative values, and it is common knowledge that the Southern states have significant conservative citizens. An article on conservatism-advocating site Conservativia sums up the common reason why many states continue to reject gambling: It can lead to addiction that devastates families and societies.
Pathological gambling is a serious problem. Data from the North American Foundation for Gambling Addiction Help shows that around 2.6 percent of the United States population suffers from some form of gambling issue. This means that more than eight million Americans suffer from a potentially disruptive gambling habit.
However, things have changed significantly. Nowadays, most casinos and gambling establishments self impose programs and rules to help customers avoid falling into the pathological gambling trap. Features such as self-exclusion in online casinos help players take control of their habits. Online gambling can be addictive, but advocates say that the right amount of regulation and easy access to problem gambling helplines should be enough to address the risks.
In Finland, for example, gambling laws are not that strict. However, the country saw a decrease in the prevalence of at-risk and problem gambling even with the uncontrolled introduction of foreign unlicensed gambling sites to players in the country.
Finland deems it illegal for foreign online casinos to offer services to Finnish players or those who reside in Finland. However, the country does not actively pursue violators. Finland has one of the biggest markets for Pay N Play casinos, but it seems the country is not that bothered by it. There are no complaints about its society and culture getting overrun by the risks of problem gambling.
Many believe that gambling laws in the Southern states could use some relaxing and updating. Gambling is not exactly the best form of entertainment, but it is difficult to ignore the reality that many want it. Some rationalize gambling as a worthwhile pastime that should not be denied to people, while others assert that relaxing gambling laws can help the economies of the Southern states.
In Alabama, for example, a study group revealed that the state could raise up to $710 million by allowing lotteries, casinos and sports betting establishments to operate in the state. In Georgia, advocates are saying that the state can generate as much as $100 million in taxes from sports betting alone.
Gambling has its risks, but with proper regulation and intervention programs, it can be a safe and enjoyable pastime. Plus, it can help stimulate economies by providing more revenue sources for state governments. Having fun with casino games and other forms of gambling online or offline does not have to be a negative experience.