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New York assesses sports betting legalisation

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Sports betting industry keeps expanding in the US. Credits: defpen.com

As the state is considering how to regulate the segment, a non-profit organisation has suggested four guidelines to follow before doing so.

US.- Sports betting continues to spread across the US as several states have either passed or begin discussing legislation for the segment and New York may soon open its own market. However, a nonprofit organisation called Citizens Budget Commission has recommended lawmakers follow four key guidelines before proceeding with the segment’s regulation.

The organisation issued a report entitled “Hold Your Bets” in which it suggested state leaders follow four guidelines, like being conservative on gambling revenues estimates. “Since sports betting has been illegal, it is difficult to predict how much of the illicit activity will transition to the legal market and how many new participants will engage,” the report states and adds: “Behaviour will vary from state to state or in areas within states based on demographic factors such as adult population, per capita disposable income, and ease of access to gaming markets.”

The second guideline involved the recommendation of a thoughtful tax designation for the development of a competitive marketplace. “Lower tax rates would arguably enable operators to spend more on marketing and customer service, invest more in technology, and potentially set odds that are more attractive to bettors. Conversely, setting higher GGR tax rates may result in fewer operators willing to enter the local marketplace, less investment in infrastructure and marketing, and less attractive odds. Ultimately this may result in fewer people transitioning from illegal to legal sports gambling,” the report says.

According to the CBC, state officials should also consider sports betting’s potential negative impact on other gambling revenues. Finally, it noted that problem gambling should be addressed as well in order to properly regulate the segment. “Expanding the opportunities for gambling in New York is likely to increase the prevalence of ‘problem’ gambling, which has been shown to be at its highest level in disadvantaged neighbourhoods and is associated with a range of behaviours, including crime, abuse, job loss, and bankruptcy, that impose social costs on others,” the report says.

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