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For sports gamblers, a possible state of sin
Question of the Day
Steroids haunt baseball. But is what looms on the horizon more of a challenge to the integrity of the game, a Pandora’s box containing baseball’s greatest mortal sin?
It could be on all counts.
What quietly is taking place just north in the small state of Delaware could change the sports landscape in America and cause more consternation among sports leaders than any other issue.
Delaware is on the verge of instituting sports betting.
The governor, Ruth Ann Minner, opposes the measure and might veto it should it come to her desk, according to reports. Even so, the bill that passed would not take effect until 2009, after Minner leaves office.
Little rattles the nerves of the leaders of professional and college sports more than the prospect of legalized sports betting, however hypocritical that stance might be.
Nevada is the only state in which such betting legally takes place. Lobbyists for the major sports leagues mounted a successful campaign more than 15 years ago to make sure that was the only place it ever would be allowed, pushing through a federal law that banned sports betting.
The problem with that bill, though — and the reason sports betting is inevitable in Delaware — is that four states already had legislation on the books permitting such gambling before the federal ban.
Nevada, Oregon, Montana and Delaware were exempt from the ban because they already had laws permitting sports betting, though only Nevada and Oregon (a weak football parlay game) have such active betting.
Delaware held a sports lottery briefly in 1976, but it failed and was stopped after 14 weeks. The new measure, however, calls for more encompassing sports betting opportunities, though not quite as wide open as what Nevada offers.
The NFL placed ads opposing the law in local newspapers. The league last week ran an ad in the Wilmington News Journal arguing to “Keep Vegas in Vegas” and suggesting that “Sports Betting = More Problems, Not More Revenue.”
By Tom Harris and Madhav Khandekar
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Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
This column will cover anything that has anything remotely to do with the game of baseball, from the game itself to mid-summer trades to offseason moves.
The cold hard truth about politics in America today and the state of this once great nation.
Never apologetic. Never afraid. Lieutenant Colonel Allen B. West joins Communities to bring tales from the biggest Foxhole of them all, the one inside the Beltway.
Criticism may not be agreeable, but it is necessary. It fulfills the same function as pain in the human body. It calls attention to an unhealthy state of things.