One of the best ways to generate funds is by gambling. But in order to do so, it is important to make the necessary changes in the law. The tax generated from casinos could easily fund different projects ranging from health to education. And for this reason, there are states that are diving towards legal changes in their gambling laws hoping to make a huge difference in their income.
Oklahoma’s state senate just passed a bill that would help modernize the landscape of gambling in the state. In addition to the modernization of gambling, the state gets more funds that go to education. Now, though it seems logical on the surface, it isn’t something that comes free of any debate?
Currently, Oklahoma allows the use of cards instead of balls and dice. However, if Senate Bill 1195 is able to turn into law, this could all change. Oklahoma could easily have a more diverse gambling landscape that can easily get people engage in gambling activities.
Money Generation or a Problem in the Future?
As expected, this proposed bill has sparked debate within the community. There are those who are for and those who are against the changes.
First, let’s discuss the actual amount of money that it is expected to generate in case the bill turns into law. According to its proponents, the proposed bill can generate $23 million more than what the current law is generating. In addition to this, it is expected to even get $49 million the following year. This modernization will include ball and dice games that can help hire more than 300 teachers.
If you will ask Sen. Ron Sharp, he mentioned that “this is a positive impact for the state of Oklahoma and public education. This should be a no-brainer”.
Sen. Ronald Pederson, however, feels that there is a problem with the bill. He said that “I think I have a brain, and I have some real problems supporting this”.
According to Sen. Paul Scott, “Making it more attractive will increase our addictions and increase some of the things that our state is already overburdened with”.
According to research, 54% of problem gamblers actually lose their jobs. In addition to this, 40% commit crimes in order for them to get more money to finance their vice. There is also the 15% that attempt suicide and anywhere from 30 to 50 percent suffer mental illnesses or substance abuse.
Andrew Ahles who is a therapist with Family and Children’s Services mentioned that “The drug is money. Money is what you need to continue gambling. The more exciting a game can become, the more likely it is to trigger those addictive pathways”.
He added that “there isn’t any money left for things like problem gambling awareness, problem gambling prevention programs”.
Is It Worth It?
The question is if it is really still worth it? Could the bill actually generate more benefit than harm to the community? Senator Stephanie Bice mentioned that “The reality is, it’s already here”. He added that “We’re already doing it. We’re just having a conversation about how to do it differently”.