Gamblers and investors disappointed when online betting site Intrade shut down earlier this month may be catching a break, as long as they’re in Vegas. A state senator in Nevada is pushing to legalize gambling on federal elections.
Tick Segerblom, a Democrat who heads the state senate’s Judiciary Committee, gave a simple reason for why he was making the proposal. “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?”
He pointed out that bookmakers in other countries made a killing on bets related to the 2012 presidential election in the United States. In fact, Irish bookmaker Paddy Power said that more than $1.6 million was bet by their gamblers on the presidential election last year, including both head-to-head bets and bets on who would win the swing states.
Segerblom’s law would allow for betting on Senate, congressional, and presidential campaigns. He said he was also open to allowing bets on state-wide races, the Academy Awards, and other cultural events.
And for those worried that gambling on elections would lead to corruption? “Let’s be frank here,” he said. “You’re not going to throw a federal election in the United States. ” He also noted that football in America hasn’t been ruined by gambling, and that elections would be no different.
Benjamin Nanamaker, InvestorPolitics Editor
The opinions contained in this column are solely those of the writer.
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