Justin Timberlake, unlikely casino industry spokesman

Dan Weissmann Oct 4, 2013
HTML EMBED:
COPY

Justin Timberlake, unlikely casino industry spokesman

Dan Weissmann Oct 4, 2013
HTML EMBED:
COPY

Runner Runner” stars Justin Timberlake as a grad student caught up in Ben Affleck’s nefarious online poker operation. How nefarious? At one point, Affleck shoves Timberlake into a pool of hungry crocodiles. 

The trade group the Gaming Association has launched a campaign around the movie to jumpstart something it’s been pushing for years: federal regulations for online poker.

The Association’s director, Geoff Freeman, says that even though online gambling is illegal in the U.S., it’s a $3 billion industry.

“It’s here,” Freeman says. “The question is, are we going to regulate it and create the right framework for this, or are we going to allow the black market to thrive.”

But Freeman’s true opponents aren’t handsome, crocodile-owning thugs, says Richard McGowan, a professor at Boston College’s Carroll School of Management.  

The opponents are actually — wait for it — state governments. “If I’m a state governor or a state treasurer, I am not amused by the thought of federal regulation here,” says McGowan.

Because in that case, the feds would collect taxes and fees, and the states would face more competition for their own gambling franchises — lotteries.

There’s a lot happening in the world.  Through it all, Marketplace is here for you. 

You rely on Marketplace to break down the world’s events and tell you how it affects you in a fact-based, approachable way. We rely on your financial support to keep making that possible. 

Your donation today powers the independent journalism that you rely on. For just $5/month, you can help sustain Marketplace so we can keep reporting on the things that matter to you.  

The clock is ticking 

Time is running out to make a gift to Marketplace and help us meet our $100,000 fall fundraiser goal by midnight tonight.