Americans spent $2.6 billion in online gambling last year, even though it’s still illegal in 47 states.

There used to federal laws forbidding any online gambling, but two years ago, those restrictions were lifted for all but sports betting. So it’s left up to the individual states, but a number of states are pushing to make online gambling legal.

It’s a $33 billion industry worldwide, and in this country, the casino industry wants Washington to regulate it. Whether it’s betting on sports or playing poker or Texas Hold‘em, millions of people are addicted to gambling.

So if it’s illegal in so many states, how do so many Americans gamble online? They disguise their location. In many cases they gamble on websites that are based in other countries. And they have foreign bank accounts so they can transfer money back and forth. That’s how serious some of these people are.

So that’s why there’s such a push to make it legal. If they’re going to find ways to spend their money anyway, why not work to keep that money and the revenue and taxes it could generate in this country?

I’ve never been a fan of gambling. I think most people end up chasing money and never win the chase. And I’ve always questioned the “randomness” of online gambling. I’ve always felt that online sites can and do manipulate the chance factor in a lot of games.

It never seems to matter. The chance for a big payday seems to drive a lot of people to open up their wallets and when they can do it in the privacy of their homes it’s just so easy. Count me out.