Legalize Gambling in California
People don’t like gambling until they win, and people love money. The government doesn’t like gambling, unless they can tax it. People think of gambling and automatically like a trained gambler think of Las Vegas or Atlantic City. Gambling has been in America’s blood since before we were a country. All thirteen original colonies established lotteries to raise revenue. 48 states today that have legalized some form of gambling and have made billions of dollars. 43% of Nevada’s general fund is fed by gaming-tax revenue, which means casinos pump in $9 billion dollars of revenue annually for the statei. California is no stranger to gambling, the Gold Rush set off a gambling boom in San Francisco where it replaced New Orleans as the center for gambling in the United States at that time. California must legalize gambling to raise revenue for its state deficit and to put that money back into its communities. California has always set new standards and exceeds expectations with its impractical views, but gambling has been left in gold dust. With billions of dollars to be made for the state, legalizing gambling in California and taxing it seems to be a more practical idea than to keep it illegal. With Indian gaming casinos and lotteries already here and flourishing, why wouldn’t California put a few casinos in cities to get itself out of debt? The state and its $19 billion deficit going into fiscal year 2012 needs a solution and a solution fast.ii The California state Legislature is in Sacramento playing the slots themselves, but the screen does not say bar-bar-bar but cuts-cuts-cuts. Money is won with gambling, but money is not always the benefit. The social benefits of gambling are underappreciated. The history of gambling and the idea of it in America has always been a controversial subject ever since its existence. At one time, playing the lottery became a civic responsibility. In ancient China, India, Japan and Greece all had lotteries. Even the Great Wall of China was partially financed by lotteries. Lotteries were a way to finance public works. Here in America, proceeds from the lottery helped establish some of the nation’s earliest and most prestigious universities such as Harvard, Yale, Dartmouth, Princeton, and William and Mary. In 1850 during the Gold Rush, both the state of California and its cities were licensing gambling establishments to raise money. San Francisco became the Las Vegas of the time; even the first slot machine was invented and premiered in San Francisco in 1865iii. Though, over time, public opinion quickly turned against gambling. The public viewed gambling as a vice and blamed it for whatever setbacks the community had. By 1860 all gambling in California was illegaliii. Although during the Great Depression, penny’s were pinched but people gambled as it was a way to stimulate the economy. Massachusetts decriminalized bingo in 1931 in an attempt to help churches and charitable organizations raise money. In 1931 Nevada legalized most forms of gambling because the Nevada Legislature was motivated to build on the tourism boom that was expected to generate from the Boulder, now Hoover, Damiii. There seems to be a pattern to gambling and governments since the beginning of civilizations. Whenever funds are needed, gambling has been a good source of revenue to cover those costs. Since the 1600’s, governments have used gambling and lotteries to their advantage to raise revenue. California needs to capitalize on this simple idea. California is in a financial crisis, and along with the crisis should be the legalization of gambling to help cover costs. The history of gambling in California has been lucrative. Before the establishment of legal Indian gambling, many tribes experienced desperate conditions. Poverty and unemployment rates of...
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