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News Link • Entertainment: Games

Should Online Gambling be Legalized in the US?

• The Daily Bell

Gambling rules in the US are inconsistent

Online gambling has produced even more grey areas

For now, online gambling is legal in four states

The US's regulated gambling industry makes at least $41bn

President Trump is yet to reveal his official stance on gambling

America is a strange place when it comes to gambling.

Like a lot of America's laws, gambling changes from state to state, with local governments deciding on changes to gambling law depending on which state you're in. For example, a resident from St. George, Utah – a state where every single form of gambling (even a friendly game of poker in a private residence) is completely illegal –only has to drive a couple of hours to the world's most famous gambling destination, Las Vegas.

Then there's the dilemma of online gambling, which is legal in a few states but not widely across the US – and the fact that hundreds of Native-run casinos and offshore casino boats get around bans in certain states quite easily.

Gambling in the US is on the cusp of a possible watershed moment, thanks to the background of the current President. Donald Trump was a former unsuccessful casino magnate before running for office, and his links to the gaming world will surely be mounting pressure for a more relaxed approach to gambling, or at least a consistent solution that can be applied across the nation.

What's more, one of his bigger donors, Sheldon Adelson, is the founder, chairman and CEO of Las Vegas Sands Corporation – so is clearly in support of the casino industry. He has, however, spoken out against online gambling.

A brief history of gambling in the US – and the question of legality

Let's look at how the US got into this confused state of play.

While the Puritans and religious refugees who founded America weren't big gamblers, the immigrants who followed them certainly were – bringing gambling with them from Europe.

From the Mississippi river workers who invented modern poker to Charles Fey of San Francisco, who created the world's first fully automatic slot machine, there's a real legacy of gambling in America.

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