I don't really buy that argument, because if you make it, then it can probably be used to legitimize deregulation of any market. Guns, alcohol, drugs, etc.
Sure there are SOME people who would gamble no matter what. But if they literally don't have to leave the house to do it, more people are going to vs if they had to actually go to a casino. Obviously, the reason that there is a push to legalize online gambling is because they anticipate way more people will gamble if they do so.
Government can't regulate everything, but certain things raise enough problems that they do, i.e. hard drugs. Unless you're a true libertarian, there are bound to be some things that should be limited. I feel gambling ought to be one of them.
As for providing them help after the fact, that begs the question. If the people running the online betting are paying for that, then that's one thing. The argument is that the tax revenue will support things like education and such which will benefit all of us in the long run. But, intuitively I feel that the amount of money that society has to pay out to help gambling addicts and others affected (i.e. children who need support that their parents can't provide) will be greater than the amount we get out of it. And we know that the people most likely to struggle with gambling are those least able to afford it http://www.buffalo.edu/news/releases/2014/01/001.html. So the end result is funneling money upwards.
On principle, I believe that we should regulate gambling as much as possible. In practice, I haven't done quite enough reading on the subject to know what it looks like.
That said, I do want to address the ending bit here because it is something that I hate. Specifically, it is something that I often see when speaking about the lottery: The money from the lottery is going towards education! Fuck that though. What this essentially is, is a regressive tax on hope. It heavily taxes the hope of those of low income to have a better life. We know that those who spend the highest portion of their earnings on the lottery are those who can least afford it, so why exactly are we enabling that? For education? No, we could pay for education through progressive tax increases if we wanted to, we would just rather take the money from the poor...
Yeah. The money from the lottery going towards education would be good in theory if those with more money were the ones gambling, but that doesn't seem to be the case.
To play devil's advocate though, the justification would be that if people weren't gambling with the state lottery system, they'd gamble elsewhere. Better to recapture some portion of that income than none of it.
I couldn't find the studies either, so it's hard to say how useful they are.
Even if the online gambling is not triggering, then still giving addictive gamblers access 24/7 is potentially problematic.
It's a good point that the online interface can be used to identify problem gamblers. That's an argument I'm largely in favor of when it comes to most drugs and possibly prostitution. But, I'm not arguing for a strict ban on online gambling. I'm open to the possibility of online gambling being legal with regulations to limit the potential abuse. But as far as I know, that's not the case in NY.
I am 100% for strict regulation to ensure a company providing online gambling not be able to abuse there customers for profit.
Regulation design to stop someone from potentially harming them selves through gambling I much more hesitant with because I not sure it effective and a lot of time regulations design to protect people from them selves end up harming more people then helping.
As a general rule any kind of addiction need to be treated outside the criminals justice system if there any chance of helping them get over there addiction.
Specifically to gambling I not convince there will be a increase in addiction by limiting how many bets they can place online or those kinds of regulation that focus on the user and not the provider. I think people that get addictive to gamble going to find a way to do as often as possible weather it online or not. Other wise fixing addiction would be much easier if all you had to do is make it inconvenient to have that addiction.
If you know of any study that specific show online gambling increase rates of addiction am open to reconsidering but I did not find any such study my self when I looked.
Obviously, if the industry would be regulated in such a way that it was not abusive, I'd be fine with that.
But there's an inherent conflict of interest. Those running casinos, virtual or otherwise, are looking to make as much money as possible. If we are simply trusting them to not take advantage, that's the fox guarding the henhouse. In theory legalized gambling is supposed to prevent that, but I'm really skeptical of the government's ability to do so, particularly as state governments are also very interested in getting revenue. The stuff in New York with legalized online gaming and marijuana (the latter of which I'm a big fan of) isn't for altruistic reasons.
There aren't really studies I could find. I think we would probably come to a similar conclusion if the data were clear, but since it's not, we're going on intuition. Going on what we have, I think it's likely that legalized online gaming will lead to higher rates of gambling among addicts at the very least, if not more gambling outright.
It seems pretty common sense to me. I struggle with my weight. If there were a Five Guys in my apartment, I'm sure I'd be over 1000 pounds by now. Not like the presence of Five Guys in my apartment was the root of the problem, but it'd definitely make it worse.