US, Usually A Global Leader, Falls Behind In Gambling Race

The US prides itself on being a leader in most global issues. There is one issue, however, where the US lags seriously behind some of the other powerful countries in the world. Gambling, both in sports and online form, is progressing almost everywhere except the US.

Over the past couple of years, many countries have opened their eyes to the billions of dollars in revenue that can be found within the sports and online gambling market. Outside of the revenue, lawmakers in countries such as France, Italy, Germany, and Spain, have started to realize that their residents need protection from unregulated foreign companies.

This week, Germany announced that they will be ending their state monopoly’s in sports gambling. They are prepared to offer private companies the opportunity to compete in the market, and the main reason for the law changes was to stop German gamblers from going to foreign sites to place their bets.

In the US, millions of Americans are currently sending money overseas in order to play online poker or to bet on sports. The government has acknowledged the amount of Americans that are gambling online, but they have done nothing to ensure that these gamblers’ funds are protected.

Instead, US lawmakers created the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act back in 2006. The law has been regarded by many as an extreme failure, and it has placed the responsibility of regulation on financial institutions.

In recent years, dozens of lawmakers have placed their name behind bills that would overhaul the US online gambling industry laws. To date, these lawmakers have remained outnumbered by those who wish to keep prohibition in place.

With every passing day, another country moves closer to gambling freedom, with Germany becoming the latest Wednesday. The US, facing severe budget problems that are currently threatening to shut down the government, remains oblivious to the protection they could offer their residents, in addition to the tax revenue that could be generated if gambling was regulated.

Individual states have started to see the light when it comes to gambling expansion and the impact it could have on state budget’s. New Jersey lawmakers recently passed a bill that would regulate online casinos, but the legislation was vetoed by Conservative Governor Chris Christie.

California, Florida, Iowa, and Hawaii are states in which online gambling proposals are being discussed. If any of these states pass online gambling laws, it is likely that the rest of the country would follow within the next few years.

Unfortunately for Americans, that time can not come soon enough, as they have to watch as a country that prides itself on individual choice and freedom stands by and allows other countries to take the lead on the gambling issue.