|It's good to re-read Mill's On Liberty every once in a while, if only to remind yourself that the United States is not actually a free country. Where does the government get off treating its citizens as criminals if they place a bet on a sporting event? How is that different from the Taliban beating men who don't wear beards?
Los Angeles (AFP) - The National Football League season kicking off Thursday will unleash a flood of wagering in which $95 billion will be bet, most of it illegally, the American Gaming Association said Wednesday.
"Illegal sports betting is reaching new heights of popularity in America," Geoff Freeman, president and chief executive of the Washington-based trade group said in a press release. "It's clear that a federal ban on traditional sports betting outside of Nevada is failing."
The AGA reckons that nearly $93 billon in illegal bets will be taken on NFL and college gridiron games this season, with slightly less than $2 billion wagered at legal sports books in Nevada.
According to the AGA, Americans made $3.8 billion worth of illicit bets on the Super Bowl alone last season.
"It's clear that it's a very popular activity that's only growing in popularity," Chris Moyer of the AGA told AFP. "It's become an American pastime in many regards.
The NFL, NBA, NHL and MLB have all opposed New Jersey's efforts, telling the court the proposed legislation threatens the integrity of their games and violates a 1992 federal ban on sports betting in most states."
Hey commissioners, it is in the best interests of those taking the bets that the games be perceived as honest. They stand to make more money taking bets on honest games than on rigging games. Individual gamblers might try to rig games, but chances are that their efforts will be counterbalanced by individual gamblers trying to rig the same game for the other team.
But they know this.
So why are they (and Congress) opposed to legalized sports betting?
Might organized crime have an interest in securing opposition to legalized sports betting? Could the people who take in the $93 billion in illegal bets be funneling some of their profits to the sports commissioners and legislators who influence these decisions? Heaven forfend!
Who benefits from the continued prohibition of sports betting?
Organized criminals and those they pay off.