There are already a few forms of legal gambling in Arizona now. Arizona has dog racing tracks as well as card rooms where one can play their favorite poker games. If these forms of gambling are already legal, they why not legalize the “whole enchilada”, as the saying goes?
It’s important to make the distinction about the current forms of legal gambling as opposed to what some residents want to make legal. The forms of gambling legal now are wagers that pit people against people. In other words, players aren’t betting against the house. For instance, betting at a racetrack is called pari-mutuel wagering. What this means is that the gambler is wagering his or her money against another gambler and not against the house. When a person bets his favorite dog or horse to win, his money goes into a pool where all of the other ‘win’ bets are placed. When the particular dog or horse wins the race, then whoever bet on that winner gets his or her share of the money from the losers of that wager. That is a basic description of what pari-mutuel wagering is all about.
Another example of wagering against fellow gamblers where the house only takes a small cut of the money wagered is the card club. When a poker player wins a pot, a majority of that money is his or hers. The dealer of the poker game always “drops” a small amount of the pot which goes to the house. This drop money is the money the house earns to pay the dealers, pay the light bills, and any other expenses along with their profit. Players are basically playing against each other, and they are not wagering against the house, such as in Las Vegas where one would if they were playing a game such as Blackjack or Craps. In Vegas, the gambler is wagering his money against the house in those games. This is the argument that is going on in Arizona. Should gamblers be entitled to wager their money against the house? I say, why not?
The fact of the matter is that gambling is here to stay. Virtually every state in the union one can wager their money, and if they want to wager they will find a way, legally or illegally. Wouldn’t it be preferable to have a legal way to wager as opposed to an illegal way? At least some tax money can be garnered, and the games should be controlled in a safe and legal manner. There is a whole other aspect to this argument and that is that wagers can be done on line.
The fact is that if a person is determined to gamble their money, no matter what state they live in, there are plenty of ways for them to do so. Making something illegal is detrimental not only to the gambler, but to the health of the state they live in. Gambling is an activity as old as the human race, and just because some states make it illegal to do so, in no way is that going to stop people from engaging in their favorite pastime.