Nevada Lawmaker Proposes Election Wagering
Placing money on the outcomes of Federal elections is probably a concept that is pretty foreign to most Americans, but it happens to be a very popular pastime, as well as a very lucrative market, in many overseas nations.
In fact, for offshore gambling companies, election betting is the most profitable segment of their business. While the same cannot be said for US-based casino companies, according to one Nevada lawmaker, when Americans go to the polls, Silver State casinos ought to be going to the bank.
Nevada State Senator Tim Segerblom (D-Las Vegas) has put forward a measure that would allow Nevada casinos to accept bets on the results of presidential elections in addition to senatorial and congressional races. Segerblom is also open to adding state elections to the legislation in the future.
When asked why he was in favor of the bill, which was presented earlier this week, Segerblom noted that his motivation was purely fiscal, stating that the reason is “simply to make money for the state.”
“I’ve been following elections and betting in London, and (gaming companies there) are making a fortune. Why not do it here?” Sederblom said.
Election betting in Nevada would function in a similar fashion to sports-betting, a comparison Sederblom utilized to scoff at the notion that permitting citizens to wager on the results of elections could lead to fraudulence in the voting system.
“Let’s be frank here. You’re not going to throw a federal election in the United States,” Sederblom told reporters.
Noting that major sports leagues have suffered no such fate despite the existence of sports-betting, Sederblom remarked, “What’s unique about football? Has football been corrupted? I don’t think so.”
Nevada has been working aggressively to diversify its array of gambling offerings, having been the first state in the nation to pass legislation to regulate online poker. Last month, lawmakers there approved with record speed a bill that will permit the governor to negotiate interstate poker compacts with other states where the game has been legalized, which so far includes only Delaware and New Jersey.
The bill signed into law last month by Governor Brian Sandoval also allows Nevada to move forward with live real money online poker even in the absence of regulation at the federal level, a prospect that has seemed dim since the beginning of the year. While rumors circulated this week on poker forums that Congressman Joe Barton (R-Texas) intends to re-introduce his online poker bill, perhaps as early as next week, there are many who doubt that the current political makeup of Congress will allow such legislation to gain much traction.
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