Thu, Jun 18th 2009 5:23am
Moves are afoot in Delaware to open legal sports books there, after the state's Supreme Court ruled that certain types of bets are constitutional. The state, like many others, sees taxes on gambling as a potential financial savior, but the NFL doesn't care. The league is threatening to file suit to try and stop the legalization of sports betting in Delaware, part of its long-running efforts to wipe out betting on its games. The league says that legalized gambling "will inevitably lead those gambling fans to question whether an erroneous officiating call or a dropped pass late in the game resulted from an honest mistake or an intentional act by a corrupt player or referee" -- but to suggest that such speculation won't exist otherwise is erroneous. It's really hard to see why the NFL (like other American sports leagues) thinks that keeping most betting (which is going to carry on anyway, regardless of its feelings on the matter) underground will prevent corruption, or even its mere appearance. It's a similar argument as that surrounding other forms of gambling, like internet poker: bringing the activities into a legal, regulated and monitored environment offers greater protection and far more benefits than keeping it in an unregulated, underground black market where anything goes. To this point, legal bookies can play a significant role in rooting out corrupt behavior by reporting suspicious betting patterns and other information. Illegal bookies aren't too likely to do that sort of thing.
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