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.”
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.
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.
- You win and automatically start thinking how you can win more.
- You lose and begin to wonder how you can win that money back.
- (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.”