I didn’t know this was against federal law. I thought it might be up to state or local gambling laws. It is not.
I am not in favor of violating the law. If, however, it is making many people criminals, perhaps we should re-think our approach here.
I tend to take a change the law or prosecute it kind of approach. We have many federal laws that we aren’t enforcing. That seems to be a problem. This one may seem small compared to the others (think immigration and marijuana laws).
The biggest argument against sports betting comes from sports leagues themselves. The NCAA claims that allowing sports betting to be open, legal, and transparent would lead to destruction of the “integrity” of the competition. So now we have a system where it closed, illegal and not transparent. No one seems to say that is creating an integrity issue in sports.
Until 1992, states were responsible to regulate all forms of gaming, but because Congress agreed with the NCAA’s argument that legal sport gaming could lead to a loss of public trust in sports competition, we saw passage of the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act in 1992. The act barred all states, with the exception of Nevada, from legalizing sports betting.
Is that still an issue?
I’m not the best person to ask since I have zero desire to gamble. Not a virtue necessarily, it is just that I don’t have a desire to do it. I have never bought a lottery ticket, even though that is very legal.
It’s that time of year when America pauses for a few weeks as we attempt to crown a collegiate basketball champion. Starting on selection Sunday, Americans filled out roughly 80 million brackets before Thursday’s first tipoff, spending approximately $10 billion on office pools and group bets, according to the American Gaming Association. That’s more than twice what was wagered in the U.S. on the Super Bowl.
Concurrently, American companies lost $4 billion in worker productivity last week with one hour dedicated to filling out brackets and three hours dedicated to watching games while on the clock.
In short, the NCAA’s March Madness and Bracketology have become a universally accepted way for Americans to participate in one of the biggest forms of recreation ever. The only problem: it’s all against the law.