The Washington Times - August 25, 2009, 01:21AM

Okay, so Delaware got dealt a bad hand Monday when a federal appeals court ruled that the state would violate a 1992 federal ban on sports betting with their proposed single game betting plan.

It’s just one hand. This game is far from over, and in the end, the four major pro sports leagues and the NCAA will wind up with the losing hand.


There will be legalized single game sports betting on the East Coast. It is inevitable, and it will happen soon.

Delaware officials will likely move forward with a plan for parlay betting, which won’t be nearly as popular but, as Delaware Gov. Jack Markell said, “the bottom line is that Delaware is still the only state east of the Mississippi that can offer this sports betting product on NFL games.”

The parlay betting is allowed under the grandfathered clause covering Delaware and three other states exempted from the 1992 federal ban on legalized sports betting. Delaware officials had hoped to expand beyond that, and will likely appeal Monday’s ruling to the full appeals court or to the U.S. Supreme Court.

New Jersey is right behind Delaware, as legislators there are already planning on going to court to try to get the federal ban overturned, period.
   And despite the church ladies in Congress who have spoken out against Delaware’s legalized sports betting bid, like Sen. Orrin Hatch and Congressman Heath Shuler (who should be banned from ever uttering the letters “NFL,” let alone speaking out against betting on league games), the momentum is building, and all the lobbying from the leagues in the world isn’t going to stop it.
   Here’s why: there’s a state budget crisis in Delaware. There’s one in New Jersey, too. And Pennsylvania. And Maryland. There’s programs being cut, teachers being laid off, infrastructure falling into disrepair, jobless rates rising. Legislators in all of these states are going to try to turn to gambling as, at the very least, a stopgap measure to hold off the bleeding, whether it is table games or sports betting, because, when you gamble, you give politicians your money, as opposed to taxes, when they have to take it from you.
   It says here that pressure to bring in state revenue and create jobs trumps pressure from NFL commissioner Roger Goodell and the rest of the hypocrites who claim they are saving the integrity of their sports. You can contribute to the cause to save the intergrity of the NFL by buying any of the numerous lottery tickets being sold with an NFL team’s brand name on them.
   In 2007, I wrote that within three years “you’ll be able to get in your car and drive 100 miles to one of a series of sportsbooks that will be set up in Delaware. You will be able to bet legally and watch games in a sports palace with giant screens, similar to the sports books in Las Vegas.”
   I still like my odds.


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