Its been a month since the Super Bowl. March Madness is here and the NCAA march to the Final Four is about to begin.
What is the common element between the two ? Gambling.
EVeryone is going to be asked to participate in an office , school or online pool to predict the winner, and most likely some other derivative outcome. The score after a quarter, number of wins for a conference, whatever.
And when we get to the final two teams, then someone from each school is going to make a public wager that prominently features something of pride from their school.
And all of it is illegal. And everyone does it. We just hope we dont get Neuheisel’d. That someone we work with wont turn us in and make a big stink over it for some reason.
So why is it that we can and do bet on the outcome of the big sporting events in this country by the millions, but gambling is illegal ?
Why is it that we can go to Las Vegas, Atlantic City, or any of a hundred plus boats, reservations or other locations, in municipalities who found themselves in a position where they needed money ? What made gambling ok in those locations, but not others ?
Of course we can buy lottery tickets everywhere and anywhere. Its so easy, that we never read about suckers falling for the email lottery scams.
Of course there is also poker. THe same game many of us have played penny ante since we were kids, can now be found on tv every other minute. Its probably the most widely broadcast “sport” and its only reason for being is gambling.
Then of course there is gambling online. Not just poker, but hundreds of other games that have been around for a long time, with many others being invented by the week.
Can we live in an era of any more hypocrisy ?
Whats worse, is that those who are against gambling on a national basis seem to have this perception that gambling outlawed is gambling controlled. Anybody truly believe that ?
So instead of just being honest and straight forward about the whole thing and making it a source of revenue for local, state and federal government, we bury our head in the sand. If we are truly afraid of gambling addiction and ruin, we will find ourselves in far better position to support those in need of help by letting them stay above ground, rather than forcing them underground.
Gambling addiction is no laughing matter, but then neither is systemic hypocrisy. Do as I say, not as a I do might work with the kids at home, but it makes any efforts to reduce the action laughable.
Its time we recognize that people gamble. Some more than others. Some not at all. But gambling no longer has a stigma attached to it. ITs something just about everyone does, particularly this time of year. THere isnt a single community that I have ever heard of where anyone who purchases a lottery ticket or participates in a March Madness or Super Bowl pool is chastised and excluded from community events.
Its time to make gambling legal on a national basis. Rather than wasting millions on fruitless enforcement efforts, we can gain billions in tax revenues and keep jobs that have migrated offshore for the online gambling industry here in the US.
Its about time that the tens of millions of us that putu our 5 or 10 dollars for the office March Madness pool be allowed to do so legally.
Im sure Rick Neuheisel thought it was no big deal. ALl it takes is 1 zealot to turn someones life upside down. All because we let hypocrisy ring from sea to shining sea