Delaware Governor Jack Markell signed a sports betting bill into law last week, making his state one of four -Nevada, Oregon, Montana- that permits gambling on sporting events. Included in the bill is a provision that allows table games including poker, blackjack, roulette and craps.
Mississippi allows sports gambling and table games, but only on the Mississippi River.
You’re probably wondering why I’m even making this an issue. I have no problems with gambling on professional or college sports. And I don’t have a problem with table games. I’ve been to Las Vegas numerous times over the years and have been known to place a wager or two.
What kills me about this is the blatant hypocrisy being displayed by the NFL. The NFL has already filed a brief with the state Supreme Court challenging the law.
Huh? Is the NFL kidding? Millions of people play fantasy football, compete in office pools and gamble on games every week. Gambling is one of the reasons the NFL has become so popular in this country. And the NFL plays it part by releasing injury reports every day during the regular season.
Now why does the NFL feel it has to release an injury report? That’s easy. It helps the thousands upon thousands of bookmakers and the numerous casinos in Las Vegas and online set up the point spreads.
Al Michaels talks about point spreads every week on Sunday Night Football, just like he did on Monday Night Football for years. I’ve never heard the NFL publicly admonish Michaels for that.
The irony of this is that Delaware doesn’t even have a professional team. Do you think if Pennsylvania, New York, California and other states with pro football teams did this the NFL would object? Ha! You wouldn’t hear a peep out of the NFL. No way would they want to risk alienating the rabid fan bases throughout the US.
Delaware claims sports betting could help plug the state’s budget deficit, which stands at about $600 million. That shouldn’t be the only reason sports betting was made legal, but that’s an entirely different issue.
Incidentally, the Supreme Court has scheduled a hearing today (May 21) to hear arguments. Let’s hope the judges have some sense and see through this smoke screen put up by the NFL.