Tag Archives: NHL

The Problem With Legalized Sports Gambling

May 14th, 2018 will go down in history as one of the most impactful days in sports history. The United States Supreme Court has ruled that the federal ban on state sanctioned sports betting is “unconstitutional.”  Dan Patrick  put it best when he said “the floodgates are officially open for other states to allow sports betting.”

Many sports pundits and gambling professionals have made themselves vocal about wanting sports gambling to be legalized.  Bringing about the “unconstitutional” nature of denying citizens the right to gamble and because “everyone does it anyway.”

A sports betting room at Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada. Photo: Prayitno

I am a sports-gambling enthusiast. I love the science that is sports-handicapping. I talk with other sports-snobs who understand that picking a winner against the spread – instead of “straight up” – takes more skill than people give it credit for.  My best literary works come during the football season, when I pepper social media with my “Beating Vegas” articles, detailing who I feel will “cover the spread” in college and professional football.  It’s fun.  I get it.  .  . for some people.

The truth about sports gambling, is that it is an addictive and dangerous hobby.

For as long as sports has been around, the sports gambling racket has been a main source of income for the criminal element.  The guy at the corner store, the guy outside the bowling alley, your grandfather – so on and so forth – the bookie, has been a part of every neighborhood forever.  Yes, even yours.  It’s a dirty world where if you don’t pay up – you can literally lose your life.

Now with the legalization of gambling across the fifty states, just coming in a matter of time, think about the dangers this now puts on society as a whole.

People who have no idea how addictive sports-gambling is, or who have never tapped into that addictive part of their personality will now see that with gambling being legalized, it is somehow harmless.  These people who have never ventured into the perils of “chasing bets” and hitting a string of bad-luck will now feel as if they have been invited to a fun new hobby that brings no-ill-effects.

Photo Credit goes to CalvinAyre.Com / Article written by Kirby Garlitos “NFL Prop Betting Part 1: Offense”

Also, for all of those who do gamble and think this is better than the “guy at the corner store.” At least you knew what the parameters were if you didn’t pay up – those things usually involved intimidation by use of baseball bats and / or turning over a your family-owned-business to the person you owed money to.  Although those parameters never scare off the  true degenerates – for the most part, people understand the code of the streets.

Now, if gambling is legalized.  Be prepared to pay taxes on your winnings and be prepared for government agencies to start garnishing your paycheck with no questions asked if you don’t pay up on your losses.  Be prepared for people’s credit to nose-dive and be prepared to see more people losing their homes. . .

Everybody thinks of sports gambling and they don’t realize, after the first game you bet on – one of three things happens to you.

  1. You win and automatically start thinking how you can win more.
  2. You lose and begin to wonder how you can win that money back.
  3. (this is the most dangerous of the three) Winning or losing doesn’t matter at all.  It was the rush and the thrill for those three hours that you want to re-live again.

I am not here to preach.  I would be a hypocrite if I told folks how to live their lives and give them every reason to not gamble on sports.  It’s more about society as a whole.

With sports gambling being allowed, this leads us – the regular folk – to think about a placing a $50  or a $100 bet as a legal means to make some quick and easy cash in a fun way. . . All the while – it’s the casino’s, the government and the sports leagues that will be the real winners.  The rich will continue to get richer at our expense.  ‘Merica. But we’re too blinded by the immediate opportunity to make money on a game – that we won’t recognize it.

The NBA has already said they want 1% of all wagering action on their entity. That’s now.  What stops them next year from asking for 2%. . .then 3%, so on and so forth.  Major League Baseball would be the biggest of hypocrites to take on a percentage (and even support) sports gambling.  If you don’t believe that, why don’t you go and Google, Pete Rose.

There is no doubt that the idea of legalized sports gambling is on the way.  Just because something is now legal – it does not mean it is okay to do.   Be smart.  And as I always say: “Good Luck and Wager Wisely.”

G.W. Gras

twitter @GeeSteelio

N.Y. Sports Today, Pt.3: The NHL

N.Y. Sports Today, Pt.3: The NHL

So here is an attempt at talking about hockey.  New York hockey for that matter.  In last week’s NFL piece, I went off on how sports writers never acknowledge the Buffalo Bills as part of the New York sports world.  This week I’m pulling my “hypocrisy card” and will only mention the Buffalo Sabres eight words before the period in this sentence.  There’s just no need for it, nobody cares and at the end of the day, it’s the NHL, so nobody really cares.  We do have the New York Rangers and the New York Islanders in the city though and both teams are looking to make runs in the playoffs.

The Islanders:

John+Tavares+New+York+Islanders+v+New+Jersey+p_LnydodpHcl

The franchise has taken it’s name-sake for granted and decided to no longer play their games in Long Island.  Now they play in Brooklyn’ Barclays Center, which holds fewer seats, which is fine because there are fewer hockey fans in Brooklyn anyhow. The move has not been a popular one with it’s loyal fan-base and it’s players.  The team apparently still holds practices in the Syosset section of Long Island because they don’t want to pay rent (or even look for) a practice facility in Brooklyn.  In the players’ defense – driving back and forth from Brooklyn to Long Island is a mobile death-sentence of sorts.  The Islanders’ best player John Tavares has 52 total points with 24 goals.  Tavares is a talented player and at 25 years old, was thought to be part of the future of the Islanders but it’s come up recently that he’s “fed up” with the team and somewhere down the line he expects to work a trade that will get him to Toronto.  Even more intriguing about him wanting to play in Toronto is the apparent “team up” he wants to happen there with Tampa Bay’s Steven Stamkos.  Regardless of what Tavares wants in his future, he’s currently playing for a team that he has yet to lead out of the first round of the playoffs.  As reported by Justin Weiss of EliteSportsNY, it’s been Tavares and defense men Nick Leddy (24 years of age) who have been “leading this team for the last couple of weeks.”  Weiss adds that the Isles wouldn’t be anywhere near as good if not for their penalty kill unit which is tops in the NHL.   It’s tough being a second fiddle team in New York.  All the Islanders have to do is ask the NBA franchise they share the building with, it’s all too familiar a story for them as well.

The Rangers:

Henrik+Lundqvist+Detroit+Red+Wings+v+New+York+FjFw13qxX5pl

Currently, the Rangers are hoping they can get Rick Nash and the NHL’s best goalie Henrik Lundqvist back on the ice by the weekend.  Nash has been nursing a bone bruise for about two months and Lundqvist is trying to return after being struck in the throat a week ago.  Lundqvist’s injury was alarming for the fact that Henrik missed significant time last season with a vascular neck injury.  While the Washington Capitals are running away with the Metropolitan division, the Rangers are on par with the Atlantic Division leading Tampa Bay Lightning, who the Rangers lost to in the playoffs last season.  Now, in his tenth year, center Derick Brassard is having his best season yet, with a team leading 24 goals scored and 26 assists.  Not to be outdone is teammate Matt Zuccarello who in his fifth year is on pace to having his best season with 22 goals and 29 assists.  If these two can continue to do their damage to opponents with Nash in the lineup than the Rangers should go deep again. Chris Wengert of ESNY wrote about the shaken confidence of J.T. Miller, who as he put it “followed up a hot streak, with a disappearing act.”  Miller has been demoted to the fourth line, which means the 24 year old may see little to no time come playoffs.   Of course, it’s barely about goals-scored with the Rangers, it’s always been about Henrik Lundqvist.  If the playoffs started today, the Rangers would face off against the cross-town rival Islanders, who have owned the Rangers, beating them the three times they’ve squared off this season.   Put quite simply, the Rangers are in “win now” mode while the Islanders have nice young squad – for now.

 

G.W. Gras

twitter @GeeSteelio