The state of Wisconsin may be considering the legalization of sports betting within the state itself.
Tyler Vorpagel, a representative in the state Senate has mentioned that keeping the activity illegal in the state is definitely not going to help achieve the goals of reducing the gambling habits of the population.
The reason is that residents of the state of Wisconsin can always just travel to Iowa or nearby states with legalized sports betting activities and gamble there. This forces funds to be funneled outside of the state, thus decreasing the overall gross income per year.
Vorpagel’s argument is that since the activities are not decreasing whatsoever due to the prohibition, why not make it legal state-wide and help entrepreneurs, businessmen and the state overall benefit from additional tax income, rather than see those funds be spent in other states.
Vorpagel is not the only representative pushing this motion, as there are supporters such as Petre Barca, who argues that maybe it’s time to reconsider the values of the state based on the state of affairs and make changes where necessary.
This would definitely not be an easy feat to achieve though, as the constitution will require an amendment, thus a gathering of the senate and a referendum that will get a majority vote. Should Vorpagel want to legalize sports betting in the state, he will have to pour in quite a lot of effort into the campaign.
Will Massachusetts be affected?
The state of Massachusetts has also seen a similar bill be drafted in the House of Representatives, but pushed back with the excuse of “not the right time”. Considering how the population of cities like Boston are heavily involved in sports, it’s reasonable to believe that a large population also considers placing bets on their favorite team, the New England Patriots.
This is also an issue for Massachusetts as the states constantly lose hundreds if not thousands of dollars per citizen once major sports events occur in the country.
The first bill to legalize sports betting in the state was pushed back in 2016, and the most recent one surfaced in 2019, with a relatively better reaction from the house of representatives. It’s likely that, should Wisconsin go through with the bill, Massachusetts will be the next to follow in 2020.
Will it be privatized?
The next thing on the mind of the representatives pushing these bills needs to be whether or not the industry will be privatized, or if it will be state-owned.
The reason why this is even a discussion is because of quite a lot of competition from representatives not too happy about the news.
Should negotiations for a fully legal, privatized sports betting industry state-wide fail, there is always an option to keep it state-owned and under heavy regulation.
However, it needs to be under a very light regulation, so that it feels like it’s based on competition, otherwise, nothing would change as citizens will still prioritize privatized industries in states like Iowa.
According to representatives from Сasinopånett though, having a state-owned sports betting industry is definitely not a solution for legalization. In fact, it could be considered that it will worsen the situation.
Such a comment from a Finnish expert for the American market could be a bit misplaced, but it falls into place the moment we look into their current state of affairs. Many don’t know that Finland has a state-run monopoly on the industry, which has caused quite the stir in the local population, which now believes that the state is profiting off of people’s gambling habits.
Wisconsin, as well as the Massachusetts House of Representatives, will have to consider every single detail, how a state-run gambling operation would look like in terms of politics. It should not be doubted that they don’t want that kind of hit to their PR.
Regardless though, it’s highly likely that both states will come to a conclusion regarding this industry. Its growth cannot be denied, and the interest of citizens, especially Patriots fans is not going to die down anytime soon.
The perfect argument would be to simply localize the funds that are being funneled out to other states. This creates a much better method of doing research on problem gambling within the state by comparing money spent to money gained. Based on this research, the states can implement preventative measures on a much more tailor-made basis.