Legalization of Gambling and the Effects of Society
Though the federal law does not criminalize gambling, there are heavy restrictions particularly on the interstate and online gambling. Each state in the U.S.A. has the mandate and freedom to prohibit, or allow and regulate gambling within the confines of its own borders. The casino-style of gambling is seen to be minimal in terms of is spread across the U.S. with only Louisiana and Nevada where the casino-style gambling is legal across the state. Both the local governments and the state government have in place licensing and zoning restrictions which effectively restricts gambling to smaller geographical regions like Mississippi, New Jersey, Atlantic and such like confinements.
One way of legalizing gambling in the U.S. across the state without fear of disorganizing the society, is to first overcome the fear of unintended consequences of legalizing gambling. The state needs to have in place sufficient regulations that will not limit but make the gambling industry more vibrant and safe for both the investors and the participants. The laws need to be made palatable and be in tandem with the international platform and the prevailing global trends in the gambling industry. There is also need to have civil education on gambling such that the participants will be able to have informed and objective reasons to gamble. These are steps that will make gambling be like any other form of entertainment and game rather than being shunned by majority hence remaining largely illegalized and heavily restricted.
The above suggestion is in stride with the realization that the American society is part of a wider global community that is complex and whose parts work together to enhance oneness and ultimate stability, according to the structural functionalism. The U.S. is an important part of the complex system that should not be left behind in the contemporary progress and changes. The government needs to not just concentrate on the possible negative effects of gambling in the society, but to also look at the latent functions that gambling might play. Apart from the possible money and awards that may come with gambling, there is the entertainment value that gambling brings to the participants, the relaxation of minds after a hard week of work and challenges and also a relevant pass time for others. These are the latent functions that may come with gambling (Merton R.K., 1968).
There are manifest benefits…