Politicians in the state of Delaware, population 853,476, have proposed legalizing sports betting on professional and NCAA games. In fact, betting on these games has been legal for years, but only if they were done in “parlays”, or bets on multiple games at once. The new legislation would legalize betting on individual games as well. No big deal right?
The commissioners of all major sports leagues including Football, Baseball, Basketball, Hockey, and the NCAA have all resoundingly cried foul, citing the fact that no dropped catch or fumble could ever be trusted again. The exact quote from NFL commissioner Roger Goodell is that by legalizing sports betting, every controversial play in his league would “fuel speculation, distrust and accusations of point-shaving and game-fixing.”
The resounding hypocrisy is dumbfounding. Not only was the NFL founded by gamblers in the first place, sports bets are already made by millions of people in Las Vegas and on the internet to the tune of billions of dollars every single year. But apparently a minuscule fraction of the 850,000 citizens of Delaware placing bets on their favorite sports teams would shred the very fabric of sportsmanship and fairness as we know it.
This piece of legislation in Delaware is the latest in a string of proposed changes to both the state and federal law which would broaden the availability of legalized gambling in both land based and online casinos. With states desperate for tax revenues and the federal government not far behind, receiving billions of dollars in gambling related revenues is starting to look a lot more palatable than maintaining the “moral” status quo of banning gambling altogether.
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What do you think? Is legalized sports betting the end of sports fairness as we know it or just a part of the game that people should be free to take part in if they choose? Let me know in the comment section below!