According to American gambling laws, each state is free to decide whether or not to allow commercial, land-based gambling like slot machine halls or full casinos. As the effects of last year’s economic downturn ripple through the country, many states in the US are finding their coffers rather starved for cash, and are legalizing gambling in hopes of generating some extra revenue.
In recent months, Pennsylvania has worked out a deal to allow its casinos to offer proper table games in hopes of bringing in extra revenue, while Delaware also joined the ranks of US states where casino gambling is legal.
Now, two more states are pulling out the gambling card. Maine, in the country’s extreme north-east corner, are looking at casino gambling as a way to offset program cuts in the governor’s recent $438 million dollar budget revision. Specifically, the state is considering giving Hollywood Slots, which is currently just a machine gambling hall, permission to install table games as well. A $5 million license fee plus $1.4 million in projected revenues would significantly bolster the current $9 million the state currently collects from the company.
Far to the west, Hawaii is also thinking about how legal gambling could help pad the state’s budget. New legislation is looking into the possibility of opening casinos to cater to tourists in Waikiki and other major cities in Oahu. Interestingly, the bill would also bar Hawaiians from gambling at the new casinos.
Internet gambling in the United States is also a huge source of potential revenue. Unlike land-based gambling, online gambling law in the US is controlled primarily at a federal level. Should internet gambling become legal, which according to some is an inevitable move for the country, then newly drafted laws could provide more control at a state level.
Regardless of whether it happens online or offline, gambling taxation and licensing fees are attractive sources of state income, and as the months go by, more and more states will likely take be legalizing casino gambling within their borders.