Add North Carolina to the ever-growing list of American states publicly considering legalizing, regulating, and taxing Internet gambling in order to deliver more revenue to their cash-strapped economies.
Like most states in this situation, it isn’t a very large segment of North Carolina’s lawmakers who want to regulate and legalize online gambling; on the contrary, it’s a relatively small group of legislators holding the cards.
Nonetheless, considering that this sort of this would be political suicide just a few years ago, the fact that any sort of group of lawmakers can make the following sort of statements in America’s politically conservative south is definitely noteworthy:
"It might be a way to incorporate this under the lottery," Senator David Hoyle was quoted in an article published by North Carolina news source WRAL.com. "People are going to do it, legally or illegally. Let's look at legalizing it, possibly, and enjoying some revenue from it."
“A number of cities across the state already collect revenue from Internet sweepstakes games in the form of a privilege tax,” the story reveals, thus also contributing to a growing willingness of the media to point out the subtle hypocrisy governments exercise in allowing certain forms of Internet gambling while strictly forbidding others.
The form of legalized gambling under discussion here wouldn’t be the online casinos and Internet poker rooms that the online gaming affiliate marketing community promotes. At the same time, such legalization would represent a strong step in the direction of eventually making all forms of online gambling legal on a state-by-state basis, in such a way as prominent industry observers have predicted might happen.
An interesting sidenote: Unlike in Canada, where provinces tend to reserve legalized online gambling to the control of the government, this movement in North Carolina is likely to make the new market exclusively the domain of private enterprise.
"We believe, by regulating video gaming, you can protect consumers, provide a controlled market and generate a new revenue stream for the state without having to raise taxes," William Thevaos, a spokesman with the video gaming industry, was quoted in the article.