Imagine if betting on sporting events were legal?

Sherman, Carroll
Sherman, Carroll/Photo credit: Anthony Quintano

Pete Carroll’s “Blunder in the Desert” is precisely why legalized betting on sporting events should not be allowed in this country. Don’t laugh. There is a movement afoot to do just that, as state governments continue to search under every rock to come up with more revenue.

Right now, only Nevada is legally allowed to take book on sporting events in the U.S.A. but other states have tried, most recently New Jersey. A judge struck down the Garden State’s effort, but that does not mean the fight is over.

More states are already looking to expand online betting as a revenue enhancer. Rather than having offshore entities illegally rake in the dough with video slot machines, poker and other card games, states – including Connecticut – are exploring ways to get a piece of the action by legalizing such wagering from the comfort of one’s own living room. It is only a matter of time.

Think about it? We have gone from one lottery game back in the early 1970’s to a plethora of lottery games to casinos to possibly permitting gambling from the home or wherever one takes a smartphone or tablet. As states continue to struggle for money, who’s to say sporting events won’t be next, despite existing laws that give Nevada a monopoly on the activity?

You can bet the NFL, Major League Baseball, NBA, NHL and NCAA will cry foul, when states move to take the next step to make this possible. But the pot-o-gold is irresistible for these cash-starved governments. And when it becomes legal – unless the public demands better accountability from its leaders – the Pandora’s Box will be open.

At that point, Pete Carroll’s unfathomable play calling on the Seahawks’ last offensive play of Super Bowl LIX will feel like something from a sandlot game compared to the Field of Nightmares that will accompany sanctioned betting on sporting events.

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