Hello everyone. I would like to talk about a semi controversial topic, Sports Betting. I am from New Jersey, and if you haven't seen the news recently, the New Jersey Governor has legalized sports betting at Atlantic City and the Jersey Horse Tracks starting in the fall. Now there are Federal Laws that still need to be overcome, but New Jersey is going forward anyway. One of the interesting things about sports betting is that it is not illegal everywhere. The first is obviously Nevada where anyone can bet on everything. But other states that have forms of betting also are Oregon, Delaware, and Montana.
The question becomes "What is wrong with betting on sports?" Now if you are associated to a team and bet on that team; that is like insider trading so I am not talking about that. I am talking about what is wrong with the common man walking into a store and putting $10 on the 49ers to beat the Cardinals?
Let's look at the two different sides of the argument; the people for sports betting and the people against it.
For it: Gov. Chris Christie said it best "Gambling is going to happen regardless, so regulate it and take it out of criminal hands." Right now if want to bet on sports and you don't live in one of the states mentioned above you can either go to a bookie, or bet online through a foreign website. Most bookies are associated in some way with criminal activity, so by going through them you could be funding criminal enterprises. And while betting online is a gray area, you are still required to report your winnings to the IRS or you could be in trouble.
Right now I am on Yahoo Sports under the MLB section. From here you have the option to click on the ‘Odds' button, and you can see the predictions for the day's games. Three of the websites that you see the odds for are BETONLINE.ag, 5dimes.eu and. BOVADA.net. All sports betting sites, and all operated outside of the United States.
Fantasy football/baseball, March Madness brackets, and the NFL playoff challenge are all forms of sports betting that are ‘accepted' in our culture; even the President goes on air to show who he is picking to win in March Madness. However as soon as someone wants to put money down on a team to win they are doing something illegal. Despite the fact there are state lotteries and casinos that are a form of gambling, apparently sports betting is crossing a line.
Against it: One of the biggest groups against sports betting is the NFL. The NFL has even gone so far that it even prohibits teams from accepting advertisements from casinos with a sports book. The NFL is concerned that sports betting will affect the legitimacy of the game.
Obviously another concern would be that people become addict to it, and waste all of their money trying to ‘win big'. You also have to be concerned with the crowds that would be around any sports betting location.
Well if you couldn't tell from the post, in my opinion Sports Betting should be completely legal in the US. It is already done in so many other ways, and it would be such a huge money maker for the US. It would make some of the boring games more exciting, and if your friends really think the Saints can beat the 49ers you can tell them to ‘put their money where their mouth is.'