Are you excited by the recent push for online gambling? Isn't it awesome that our government is working diligently to provide us with more personal freedoms? Sorry, that was our weak attempt at sarcasm. Everyone knows Big Brother sees
and to a certain degree, that's OK – so long as we have easier ways to bet online, right? But there seems to be some overestimation when it comes to the financial impact it will have on states if and when this all goes down. Yes, it’ll be a decent chunk of change – as much as $81 billion if somehow it were legal in all 50 states – but in the grand scheme of things, online gambling isn't going to miraculously solve the financial woes of those states strapped for cash.
It’s also just a drop in the bucket compared with the billions of dollars in state debt (California alone is $28 billion in the hole, while Illinois is out $15 billion). Rose said even the most optimistic estimates on what the federal government could raise by legalizing Internet gambling is “literally insignificant” compared with the $15.7 trillion in national debt.
"The main political motivation for legalization of gambling is tax revenues and employment," said Doug Walker, an economics professor at the College of Charleston. "It is unlikely that online gambling will lead to significant increases in jobs, but generally, more economic activity is better than less."