Gambling Is Growing World Wide – Perhaps at an Alarming Rate, You Decide

The other day, I was contacted by an eBook author with a new gambling eBook on Amazon, made for Kindle Users, he asked if I’d like to review it. Alan Samonte’s newest book on gambling; “The Gambling System That Works,” does sound interesting, and I think he’s touching on a real uptrend here. It is as if just recently we’ve seen a bit of growth in the number of gamblers out there in recent months.

Interestingly enough, I’ve done a bit of writing on the topic of gambling. You see, after traveling across the US, I have visited all the major gambling areas, and some small ones out of the way too, mostly on Indian Reservations or near state lines, rivers, or other areas in the gray area of law, allowing for such.

Indeed, I’ve seen mesmerized senior citizens at slot machines, brought in by the busload, Asian tourists, and high-rollers. I’ve also visited the outskirts of Las Vegas where the “Shanty Towns” are similar to the depictions in the movie “Pay it Forward” and I’ve met gambling addicts, as well as those who love to have some fun in moderation, so my experiences and observations indeed run the gambit. Still, it seems that things are on the rise in the gambling world, why I can only guess.

My conclusion is that the economy and prospects for the future are causing some of this. Of course, the rest is just good casino marketing, branding, and all the special offers, players clubs, and incentives. For those who just like to have a little fun and don’t blow it or gamble beyond their means it is a great way to entertain. For others, well, there are some sad stories out there of course, but being as we do live in a free country, we must also understand choice.

Why do I see gambling on the rise? Well, it seems everywhere I look, in the media, online and in the real world, there is growth in the gambling sector, and it’s very competitive, not just in the USA, but world-wide – and not just in the real world but online too.

Recently in Japan Today newspaper there was a story about how Japan is wants to open up gambling in the country stating that the government needs the money and could tax the revenues, rather than losing out as Japanese travel to Macau, Singapore, and Las Vegas.

There have been reports that the US Congress may yield to pressure to make online gambling in the US legal, as they clean up the current illegal online gaming sector first. For instance the WSJ had an article “Gambling Site Bodog Shut Down Amid Ongoing Crackdown,” and “US Shuts Sports-Betting Site, Indicts the Founder of Bodog,” published on February 28, 2012.

There was a cool article in the Atlanta Business Journal on Leap Day 2012 entitled; “Developer proposes $1 billion gambling complex,” written by Carla Caldwell, which stated that a GA Developer “wants to build a hotel, theater and a game floor with 7,500 video lottery machines, which could generate $350 million yearly to the state’s struggling HOPE Scholarship program. Even though state lawmakers are searching for ways to help HOPE, gambling proposals don’t typically gain widespread support.”

There was another segment on CBS News on March 1, 2012 entitled; “Florida House votes to ban so-called Internet cafes,” which discussed how folks were going online at Internet Coffee shops and betting online, which is against FL and US Law for people to do that, while the CafĂ© stated that they don’t tell people what they can and cannot do online, even though the place is set-up for gambling online in this way. The segment stated that FL legislators voted to close 1,000 of these types of ‘storefront operations and one legislator dramatically stated;

“These are truly the crack cocaine of gambling,” and the segment went onto say; Internet cafes sell customers either phone cards or Internet time. But they also offer customers a chance to redeem electronic sweepstakes on computers that use software that mimics casino-styled games.”

Okay so, what is it about gambling that so intrigues humans? Turns out there is a very real psychological reason for human gambling, and I bet that will increase as the human minds in our society continue down the path of instant information, entertainment, and the need to be globally connected in real time, and having continuous mental stimulation – something that gambling does definitely provide with all its excitement, fear, and fun.

Out in CA we have lots of Indian Casinos offering deals on meals, and gambling fun, even though in CA gambling is not allowed, but these are on Indian Property of course, which is common throughout the US. Because gambling is so fun, it attracts people from all walks of life; grandmothers, CEOs, the unemployed, and even those who are in charge of enforcing it all. It breaks all barriers of race, religion, nationality, socio-economic planes, and intelligence levels. Gambling is a human thing, I doubt we could stop it if we tried.

If folks don’t gamble in casinos, they’ll do it at the horse track, stock market, in business, or some other endeavor where they can pit chance against the potential eventuality for monetary gain. Indeed, I hope you will please consider all this and think on it.

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Which Forms of Gambling Are Legal in Louisiana?

Louisiana is known across the country for its great food, music and festivals. Louisiana is also known for its gambling. People come from across the South to enjoy the food in casino restaurants and to gamble on riverboats. While the Mississippi Gulf Coast has numerous casinos, almost all forms of gambling are illegal in neighboring Texas and Arkansas. This article provides a brief summary of gambling activities that are legal in Louisiana and those that are not.

Gambling in Louisiana is defined as “the intentional conducting, or directly assisting in the conducting, as a business of any game, context, lottery, or contrivance whereby a person risks the loss of anything of value in order to realize a profit.”

LEGAL GAMBLING IN LOUISIANA

Age restrictions: To participate in the state lottery or horse track betting you must be 18 years old. To gamble in a casino or on a video poker machine, you must be 21.

Casinos and Racetracks: Riverboat casinos are legal in Louisiana. “Riverboat” refers to anything floating in the water, which results in many riverboats consisting of large structures on anchored barges near the shore. A land-based casino is licensed by the state in the City of New Orleans and on Indian tribal land. Betting on horse races are legal but dog racing is illegal.

State lottery: The Louisiana Lottery began in 1991 and lottery proceeds are legislatively earmarked for improving Louisiana’s educational system. The Louisiana lottery includes numbers drawing, Power-ball, and scratch off tickets.

Video poker: Casinos and racetracks in the state have video poker machines, as do a number of restaurants, gas stations, bars and truck stops. In Louisiana, if a business has a liquor license, this license allows you to have up to three video gaming machines. Truck stops can operate more video poker machines depending on the amount of fuel they sell.

Social Gambling and Charitable Gambling: Social gambling (for recreational purposes and not for business purposes) such as pool games, personal bets or betting on sports is legal in Louisiana as long as nobody takes a “cut” or fee from managing the transaction (other than awards to the rightful winner). Certain gambling activities such as raffles, bingo and keno which are directly associated with charitable fund-raising for non-profit organizations is legal.

Commercial cruise ships in international waters: Gambling on commercial cruise ships that travel internationally (beyond 12 miles offshore) is legal.

Taxes: Any establishment that gives a one-time gambling award of $600 or more is required to report the winning, along with the recipient’s social security number, to the IRS and Louisiana Department of Revenue. Residents are required to report gambling revenue as taxable income on their federal and state tax returns.

ILLEGAL GAMBLING IN LOUISIANA

Dogfighting and gambling related to dogfighting: La. R.S. 14:102.5 makes it illegal to own, possess, keep or train a dog for the purpose of dogfighting or to possess any paraphernalia used in training dogs to fight. Violation for a first conviction results in a fine of up to $1000 and/or not more than one year imprisonment. A subsequent conviction results in a fine of up to $3000 and/or imprisonment of not more than three years.

Cockfighting and gambling related to cockfighting: La. R.S. 14:102.23 makes it unlawful for any person to organize or conduct any commercial or private cockfight where it is reasonably foreseeable that chickens would be injured. It is also unlawful to possess, train or purchase any chicken for cockfighting purposes. A first offense conviction results in a fine of up to $1000 and/or 6 months imprisonment. A second offense conviction results in a fine of up to $2000 and/or one year imprisonment. A third offense conviction results in a fine of up to $2000 and/or three years imprisonment.

State may seize property connected with illegal gambling: The state may seize any property connected with illegal gambling and upon conviction may sell the confiscated property at public auction.

Computer gambling: Gambling by computer is prohibited in Louisiana. Computer gambling is the conducting as a business of any game, context, lottery or other activity whereby a person risks the loss of anything of value in order to realize a profit when accessing the internet. A conviction results in a fine of $500 and/or up to 6 months imprisonment.

Gambling in public: Unauthorized gambling in public is specifically prohibited by statute. Violation results in a fine of $500 and/or up to 6 months imprisonment.

Underage gambling: It is unlawful for anyone under the age of 21 to play video poker devices or to gamble in a casino. It is unlawful for anyone under the age of 18 to participate in the state lottery or in horse track betting. Violations result in a fine of $500 and/or up to six months imprisonment.

By Attorney John W. Redmann

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