Supreme Court Ruling Favors Sports Betting – By Adam Liptak and Kevin Draper – NYT

“May 14, 2018WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court struck down a 1992 federal law on Monday that effectively banned commercial sports betting in most states, opening the door to legalizing the estimated $150 billion in illegal wagers on professional and amateur sports that Americans make every year.

The decision seems certain to result in profound changes to the nation’s relationship with sports wagering. Bettors will no longer be forced into the black market to use offshore wagering operations or illicit bookies. Placing bets will be done on mobile devices, fueled and endorsed by the lawmakers and sports officials who opposed it for so long. A trip to Las Vegas to wager on March Madness or the Super Bowl could soon seem quaint.The law the decision overturned — the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act — prohibited states from authorizing sports gambling. Among its sponsors was Senator Bill Bradley, Democrat of New Jersey and a former college and professional basketball star. He said the law was needed to safeguard the integrity of sports.

But the court said the law was unconstitutional. “It is as if federal officers were installed in state legislative chambers and were armed with the authority to stop legislators from voting on any offending proposals,” Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr. said, writing for the majority. “A more direct affront to state sovereignty is not easy to imagine.” ”

David Lindsay Jr.
Hamden, CT | Pending Approval
This is a challenge. In general, I like to legalize illegal activities when they are going to occur anyway. But the two top comments sound an alarm that the poor and middle class will suffer, because they will not be able to resist gambling addiction.  I wonder if the addiction can be monitored, and to some extent be softened, by such things as betting limits, per bet, per month, per year. I control my own betting tendency, by making all bets for a penny or nickel. With these self-imposed limits, I can’t really hurt myself, or even care the next day if I win the bet or not.
   What concerns me is the effect on game throwing by athletes. If this opening, or legalizing of betting on sports causes more game throwing, then the benefits will not be worth the costs.

Here is the top comment that contradict my tentative position.

Charles L.
New York

The drive by states to legalize betting on sports is an unintended consequence of the success of the conservative movement’s decades-long project of demonizing taxation. Politicians have learned that voters will forgive their sexual misconduct, financial corruption, and even crimes. The one unforgivable sin, however, is voting for a tax increase. That is seen as a career ender. At the same time, however, they also know those same voters continue to expect a full range of government services. Faced with these irreconcilable demands, state officials have sought new sources of government income. These have included lotteries, casino gambling, civil forfeiture of property, the legalization of marijuana, and now wagering on sporting events. Anyone who finds these activities objectionable should consider his or her own voting record regarding taxation. In a democracy we get the government we deserve.

 

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