***If there are any people more stupid than the federal lawmakers who have championed keeping sports betting illegal in Delaware (and, by extension, everywhere), I'd love to know who they are, so I can marvel at the depths of their idiocy.
According to the Washington Post's report on yesterday's federal appeals court ruling that single-game betting proposed in Delaware violates U.S. law, "Sen. Orrin G. Hatch (R-Utah) and Sen. Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.) wrote a letter to Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. urging him to enforce the federal ban on sports betting. In the letter, the lawmakers wrote that ‘sports betting threatens the integrity of the pastimes our citizens enjoy and the nature of the games they follow’” (my emphasis).
WTF???? Have I missed something? Hasn't betting--specifically on college and pro football games--been part of the sporting culture in this country (especially on the East Coast) for decades? What are Tweedle Dumb and Tweedle Dumber saying? Has any NFL or NCAA game in the past 40 years (let's say) been proven to have been affected by gambling? If so, how come we never heard about it?
Yes, I know there have been a few instances of point-shaving in college basketball games through the decades. But as far as I know, they’ve been instigated by criminal types—exactly the element that would be eliminated (to a large degree) by legal, regulated gambling.
Perhaps the Senate geniuses are tacitly asking to keep state governments out of bookmaking so criminals can continue to have a huge share of the multi-multi-billion-dollar sports-betting industry? Are they saying they'd rather have the guy at the end of the bar take bets than the kind of state-created bureaucracies around the nation that have so far kept casinos free of underworld infiltration?
Hatch and Kyl--who obviously have too much time on their hands--aren't the only D.C. knuckleheads: The Post reported Rep. Heath Shuler (D-N.C.), a former Redskins quarterback, Rep. Gregory W. Meeks (D-N.Y.) and Rep. Spencer Bachus (R-Ala.) sent a similar letter to Holder suggesting legal betting would be a much bigger scourge that what we have now everywhere but Las Vegas.
***On a related note, I'm not sure they're popping corks in AyCee today because of yesterday's ruling. Sure, unless the First State takes its case to the Supreme Court, it means yet another assault on the Atlantic City gambling dollar has been avoided (and if the Supremes vote to uphold, it certainly will take pressure off the already beleaguered casino business). But from here, it seems Atlantic City's gambling industry would ultimately have benefited more from a ruling in Delaware's favor. If the court says no to Delaware, it says no to everybody; end of story.
If it had sided with Delaware, it would have given New Jersey more ammunition in its inevitable legalization battle.