The Supreme Court struck down a federal law banning sports gambling this morning, paving the way for states to allow betting on sports.
This is the type of news the Louisiana legislature has been hoping for, as they have been working to increase gambling – don’t call it “gaming” like they do in an effort to make it sound nicer – opportunities in the state.
The Supreme Court’s decision is the right call, as it inherently the job of the states to manage these types of issues in a federalist-style government. The only people who will be making the wrong decision here will be the state legislators who take advantage in the future.
Whether or not you like or agree with gambling (I myself am a big roulette fan), there is little doubt that increasing gambling in the state increases the devastation gambling brings to many areas.
Where there is a casino, there is poverty, sex trafficking, and all sorts of other societal ills that follow. Casino companies don’t mention that fact, but it is something that we see in various places around the country, and Louisiana will be no different.
See, for legislators, this is a chance to increase revenue. This is a chance to get Harrah’s to pay them more and help plug in holes in the budget. It is a chance for them to get their hands on half your big payouts. It is a chance for them to sign deals with major gaming companies to bring their businesses here.
But, its effect on the local population can be catastrophic. People who can’t afford to will be some of the most frequent patrons. Poverty will increase. As more people come in with too much money, drink, and lose their inhibitions, more opportunities for prostitution and sex trafficking will arise. Is raising revenue worth that?
It is not, and it’s a shame that we have to remind our legislators, many of whom call themselves Christians, of that.
So, while the Supreme Court has granted a victory to federalism, our legislators seeking revenue are going to hand us a cultural defeat.