States placing their bets on expanded gambling

Las Vegas Casinos
Slot machines in Las Vegas.
Ethan Miller/Getty Images

Around the country, gambling is a loaded subject.

Several states have moved to allow online gambling. Bills in Congress would create a uniform federal approach, legalizing online gambling and establishing mechanisms to regulate and tax it.

And here in Minnesota, Gov. Mark Dayton has declared himself "very interested" in allowing slot machines at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport. He told MPR News that casino gambling at the airport was the kind of innovative funding approach "we need if we're going to be able to do what we need to do to keep Minnesota the premiere state that it is."

Estimates suggest that between 2 percent and 5 percent of the population suffers from compulsive gambling. Mayo Clinic calls it a "serious condition that can destroy lives."

The Daily Circuit looks at the promises and pitfalls of expanding state-sanctioned gambling — and the way online and mobile gambling is changing the game.

LEARN MORE ABOUT STATE-SANCTIONED GAMBLING:

U.S. Should Go All In With Online Gambling
Two bills in Congress are on the right track. One would legalize all forms of online gambling, except sports, and create an oversight office at the Treasury Department. It would also allow states to opt out. The other proposes a 4 percent federal tax on operators, and allows states to collect an additional 8 percent. Combined, they offer the outline of rational federal approach. (Editorial, Bloomberg)

All in: Gambling options proliferate across USA
Indeed, despite the sluggish economic recovery, it seems the American casino is back in a big way. Nationwide commercial gambling revenues are on track to surpass the $35.6 billion notched in 2011, which was up slightly from $34.6 billion in 2010, according to David Schwartz, director of the Center for Gaming Research at the University of Nevada at Las Vegas. What's more, the number of casinos is growing steadily, changing the marketplace virtually every month. (USA Today)

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