College Sports Gambling

Topics: Gambling, Bookmaker, Sports betting Pages: 7 (2528 words) Published: August 6, 2002
With all of the controversy of gambling in college sports, why is the issue still an issue? The answer is money. There were actions taken towards this by Congress, but the problem is that it was never completely abolished. Congress had made the mistake of creating a way around it. It is now commonly referred to as "the Las Vegas loophole." They outlawed the betting nationwide with the exception of one state, one state that is the capital of gambling, Nevada. This has caused few changes, with the exception of the ever-growing revenue that it generates. Another reason the legality still remains is one not frequently mentioned, but the question of the ban being constitutional. But no matter what the law, is there realistically ever going to be silence or content?

To trace the tracks to the start of mending this problem, we need to go back to 1992. This is the year that the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act took precedence. This law restricts gambling on amateur sports in 46 states and essentially leaves Nevada as the only state that can take bets on those games. Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz) and Rep. Lindsay Graham (R-S.C.) are striving to get two separate bills passed, both of which are targeted at prohibiting gambling on amateur sports. The bills were introduced a year ago, and at the time, were heavily favored. The bills would legally put a stop to betting on NCAA games, the oh-so-notorious March Madness (the NCAA Tournament), and wagering on all college sports for that matter. Las Vegas casino lobbyist have turned offensive. Who wouldn't, if there were possibilities of losing a $700 million cash cow, with approximately $70 million on March Madness?

The money that is generated from sports betting both legal and not, is much too vast to be eradicated. Nevada is the tree trunk for which sports gambling is derived. The casinos are complete with giant electronic boards that offer information on daily events ranging from odds to player injuries. This is the basis of most sports wagering. Nevada generates $2.3 billion a year on legal sports betting , where as, betting on college sports revenue in Nevada accounts for $650 million of the amount. This is far from the issue though. If betting on college sports in Nevada is made illegal, I find the impact to be very small considering that illegal sports gambling has been estimated at $80 billion to $380 billion a year. At the least, 40 times the legal revenue generated seems very minute. In addition, studies have shown that for every dollar bet on sports in Vegas, $100 is bet with bookies and on the Internet. Rep. Jim Gibbons (R-Nev.), says that there is nothing backing up that legal gambling in Nevada is "in any way responsible for the illegal sports wagering that plagues our nation's college campuses." Rep. Shelley Berkley (D-Nev.), said that no problems would be solved by eliminating legal bets any more than "suggesting that outlawing aspirin would stop the sale of illegal drugs." A poll done by Gallop from March 18-20 (between the first two weekends of this year's NCAA tournament) found that Americans were divided on issue. The poll stated that 49% believe that college sports gambling should be illegal and 47% believe that it should not. Strikingly, college basketball fans are stuck on 48% on both stand-points.

The possibility of abolishing gambling on college sports is not very likely nor does it hold much hope of bettering the problem. If the betting was banned, there's no possibility of it just disappearing. The figures and dollar amounts of illegal gambling are much too high now, and it is still legal. What happens when Congress puts this law into effect and everyone ignores it? It surely does not say much about our society and its morals. Howard Shaffer, director of the Division on Addictions at Harvard Medical School, said "If we pass legislation that we cannot enforce, it will undermine authority in general and young...

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