Making Sports Betting Legal Protects Bettors From Fraud, Theft
Legalizing industry opens it to regulation, and sends money into municipal coffers, not criminals' pockets
June 15, 2012
Sports betting is already legal today. Some people just have to travel farther than others in order to participate in this activity in a legal setting.
Millions of others participate outside of these legal settings, without government protections, leaving themselves vulnerable to unscrupulous characters and depriving states and municipalities of untold millions in lost revenue that could be supporting critical services that are endangered by the slumping economy.
The legislation I am advancing today (California Senate Bill 1390) would create a framework under which those who wish to operate a sports betting establishment in California will be investigated and vetted by the Department of Justice and will operate under the oversight of the department and the Gambling Control Commission.
This process gives bettors assurances that they are on a fair playing field with proper legal recourse. It also allows the state to bring in millions--in the long run, billions--that would have otherwise gone to those engaged in criminal enterprise.
Americans have always bet on sports and will continue to do so. The only true questions to be answered are whether or not we want to give our residents legal protections against fraud and theft, and whether the financial windfall from this enterprise should go to critical services, or to crooks.