Monday, February 20, 2006

Sports Betting in the USA. Legalize it and move on.

While Congress is reviewing the legality of Internet Gambling in the US (which by the way, they will never outlaw for the individual bettor), sports leagues are consistently clamoring about the impact of gambling on their sports.

Why Football? Your popularity is largely due to a spread being available in almost every paper nationwide. With billions bet on the Super Bowl, how can you deny that most fans bet?

Why Baseball? You became “a national past time” with the first American bookies in your stands taking live action bets during your games. I’m sure this brought in many fans.

Why Basketball? March madness would mean nothing to most Americans if it wasn’t for the NCAA bracket pools that most of America is in. When the action on the first weekend of March Madness is only second to the Super Bowl in Las Vegas Sports Betting dollars, you should know that you need the gamblers.

Why Hockey? Right now, you can use all the help you can get.

If gambling didn't exist, professional sports would be as popular as the opera. It has always been and always will be true that gambling -- regardless of whether you like it or not -- makes the games far more important than they would be otherwise. Yet all of the leagues continue to pretend that sports betting doesn't exist, driven as they are by memories of the 1919 Black Sox scandal, Paul Hornung's '63 NFL suspension for betting on his own Green Bay Packers' team, Michael Jordan's known associations with gamblers and other derelictions.

Yet the public climate has changed. Gambling has become a universally-accepted entertainment, with casinos popping up throughout the country and government-run lotteries operating in almost every state. - Sports Illustrated
Get a hint America. Congress needs to legalize (and tax) internet gambling, and the sports leagues need to realize the value that gambling brings to their fan base. Embrace it America, at this point it's all you can do.

- The Online Sports Bettor