Sunday, January 04, 2009

Another question. This one regarding gambling.

A question that starts with a statement. Land of the free? Land of the free my big fat white posterior. Why is it, in the so called land of the free, you can walk into a shop and buy a shotgun, a handgun or a semi automatic weapon, however an adult can not walk into a shop and place a wager? Where is the logic in that? Think about that for a second. An adult in the USA can purchase a handgun, however he or she cannot place a wager.


None of it makes any sense. All the major sporting news entities display prominently the ‘lines’ for all the big games. A few clicks of the mouse and you can find out what the line is in tonight’s big NFL playoff games, or the upcoming college bowl games. The NFL demands, nay, forces (under threat of financial penalty) its teams to produce detailed injury reports before game day. Why do they do that? Why else other than so that people know if Brian Westbrook can go this weekend, or if LT really has a damaged groin or is about to rip off 300 yards against the Colts. That type of information is pretty important to people placing bets on the games.

Thus we are left with this pathetic nudge nudge, wink wink, arrangement where everyone, NFL head office included, knows that millions of people are betting on the games, the NFL and the sporting media are providing detailed information for betting on the games, and yet still it’s illegal.

The arguments against gambling? It’s dangerous. Really, more dangerous than a firearm? Most level headed, non right wing types would probably agree that an adult placing a wager is less dangerous than an adult with a loaded firearm. My favourite, ‘Gambling funds organised crime.’ I see, and firearms don’t assist organised crime in any way? That’s the ‘lowest common denominator’ argument. The real retort to that particular argument is that if gambling were not illegal, organised crime would not use it as a funding mechanism!

There really is no logical reason to keep gambling illegal while you can freely purchase a firearm. It simply doesn’t make any sense. Whatever you do, don’t throw that inane 'constitutional right' argument at me, the founding fathers lived in a world where you needed a firearm. They lived at a time when bear attacks were more of a hot topic than the credit crunch. Actual real live bear attacks. There is no viable reason why a human being, a Joe Punter, man on the street, average person ‘needs’ a semi automatic weapon in this day and age.

Over the holiday season the NFL and College Bowl games were littered with those never ending references to those ‘brave men and women’ overseas, and how it’s thanks to them that Americans, as the sporting commentators often put it, ‘enjoy the freedoms that we have.’ Freedom? I’ll give you freedom. Two minutes after finishing this I can go out my apartment door here in Dublin, Ireland, I can walk down the street to a bookmaker shop and place a bet on a sporting event. That’s a form of entertainment, see. It has been for thousands of years. If you are reading this in say, Manhattan, or Boston or most other major US cities, you do not have the freedom to do same. Instead you have to resort to finding alternate, borderline illegal means to place a bet on, for example, tonight’s NFL games. This despite the fact that every single sporting media outlet is throwing, hurling betting information on those very games at you from every angle.

Look, clearly someone isn’t telling us everything. Keeping gambling illegal has to benefit someone, so it probably isn’t going to change. Perhaps powerful lobby groups attached to the Vegas Empire contribute towards keeping it illegal so that Vegas remains a veritable cash bucket, an oasis in a non-gambling country.

Meanwhile, the lines for tonight’s NFL games. I could tell you, but I really don’t need to, as every single major US sporting print and online entity has the information for you, despite gambling being illegal in most areas of the USA. God bless that sweet taste of freedom, eh?


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Irish National baseball team

Irish National baseball team
Team Ireland at the European Championships, Croatia, 2000.

A nice little mention for this blog on Fox Sports

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