Gambling Taxes For Sagging Economy

Published Sunday, May 10, 2009 -

Sports betting on everything from basketball to golf is a veritable passion for many. Now with billions of dollars in play some state governments are looking to shore up sagging economies with a cut of the gambling action. Also in order to fund various programs that include scholarships and horseracing.

Georgia, Iowa, Kentucky, Maine, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas, New York, and others have tried to revamp existing laws regarding gambling to increase their revenue stream for all kinds of reasons. The commercial casinos in 12 states generated $32.5 billion in 2008, contributing $5.66 billion to those states tax bases.

Holly Thomsen, an American Gaming Association spokeswoman, said, "Despite the recession, the industry continues to be a major employer, a major contributor to state and local governments,"

The National Conference of State Legislatures said in a recent report All but four states, are trying to figure out how to factor in the federal stimulus money. All but Arkansas, Missouri, North Dakota and Wyoming expect budget gaps for the new fiscal year. Looking ahead to 2010, state deficits are expected to balloon to $121 billion, as stated by the National Conference of State Legislatures. This is putting a lot of pressure on the governments of these states to look for ways to make some money. The bleak state revenue situation is giving even the most ardent gambling opponents second thoughts.

In Hawaii where currently there are no forms of gambling the Legislature hasn't approved any new gambling measures, but Republican Gov. Linda Lingle's willingness to keep gambling on the table suggests they are keeping their options open. Wyoming's Democratic Gov. Dave Freudenthal was open to joining the 43 other states with lotteries but the legislation did not pass. Massachusetts has given pause to lawmakers there who had opposed gambling.

Democratic Rep. Peter Kocot was quoted as saying, "I have been an opponent of casino gaming, but the territory we're in right now is unprecedented in terms of the budget," "With the situation in such a great state of flux ... my mind is open." It's a sure bet sure that many officials of government in the USA are asking lets get this ball rolling and make online gambling legal so we can reap the rewards of taxation in the nation.

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