Legalize It

legalize_it_sports

Gio DiFazio

America needs to reconsider its position on betting in sports after the Oakland Raiders Relocate to Las Vegas.

“I would probably tell you that I think society has probably had a little bit of a change with respect to gambling in general,” ……. “I think we still strongly oppose it in that room, and otherwise, legalized sports gambling. The integrity of our game is No. 1. We will not compromise on that.”

Those were the words spoken to the media at a press conference after an NFL owners meeting April 7th. Now compare them with the opening statement of an op-ed piece NBA commissioner Adam Silver penned for the New York Times in November of 2014,

“BETTING on professional sports is currently illegal in most of the United States outside of Nevada. I believe we need a different approach..”

Even Rob Manfred, who governs Major League Baseball, and seems to be desperately trying to foster a younger fanbase, had this to say on the issue,

“There is this buzz out there in terms of people feeling that there may be an opportunity here for additional legalized sports betting,” Manfred said. “We are reexamining our stance on gambling. It’s a conversation that’s ongoing with the owners.”

This is not the first instance of Roger Goodell publicly opposing sports gambling.

In fact, Goodell assesses it to be the single biggest threat to the “integrity of the league.” A claim that “gambling would be number one on my list,” was reported by ESPN five years ago in a deposition between the NFL and the State of New Jersey regarding sports betting.

How Rodger and Commissioner Silver be on such different ends of the sports betting spectrum, without at least having a sliver of common ground to stand on.

Sports betting may be the most accepted illegal activity in America. With a simple Google search, multiple sites that provide an avenue to gamble on athletics can be found.

State governments have made efforts to bring sports betting to the local economy, but are invalidated by the Professional and Amauter Sports Protection Act of 1992, which made sports betting illegal in almost all of the United States.

The move to Las Vegas was hopefully another nail lifted off of the coffin, in hopes of sports betting to once again, rise from the dead, and a massive, untapped industry to thrive.

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