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Dunlap: Sports Gambling Here … YES!

It’s about time we can bet (legally) everywhere

Colin Dunlap
May 14, 2018 - 1:42 pm

Good work, United States Supreme Court --- you might have just made sports all that much more enjoyable every place in the country that isn’t Nevada. With a 7-2 vote on Monday morning, the Supreme Court struck down the ban that pretty much said sports betting in just about every state was unconstitutional. 

So now states can pass their own sports betting laws. Let’s hope reason (generally a longshot with politicians) radiates in Pennsylvania and sports books can push into the existing casinos, or parlor books can sprout up, sooner rather than later. 

This, to be certain, could be the beginning of something big. 

And Gov. Tom Wolf has signed a law regulating sports betting in our state if it cleared the federal hurdles. The law states that Pennsylvania would tax sports betting at a 36 percent rate. So it just seems like if and not when after today. 

So there you go --- The State Version of Uncle Sam would get his, so I’m not seeing how Harrisburg would be unhappy.  

The players associations of the leagues and the leagues, themselves, will want a cut of the action. That is all understandable and should happen with ease. Present a fair percentage to both and I don’t see how they wouldn’t jump at just about any offer and, in theory, they don’t have to do much changing. Simply, they just still play the games and add an existing revenue stream that wasn’t there in the past.  

A win-win-win-win for all involved. 

That’s where you also come in. To be perfectly blunt and truthful, about 99 percent of sports betting I have ever done in my life has happened on the Las Vegas Strip. The other one percent occurred here (illegally, I’m guessing) on block pools, parlay cards and small stuff of the sort. But I’ve never placed one single traditional game bet through an illegal bookie. Not once. It has simply never happened. 

Know why? It just felt dirty and weird to me. Like even the most innocuous $20 bet on an NFL Sunday was like me being involved in some bad scene in a mob movie where someone would get whacked at the end. 

So, again to be truthful, I’ve never gone down that road; just felt too weird. 

The ruling today, I think, opens up a whole new avenue for especially people like me. I’m not the kind of guy who is going to “bet anyway” if it is legal or not. I’m also not the kind of guy who is going to have an unquenchable thirst for betting, pouring a high percentage of my paycheck into the endeavor whether it is legal or not. 

What I am, and what I suspect many of us might be, is a guy who has been to Vegas on occasion, sees how the sports book works and wouldn’t mind having such an option around here. 

With that, what I might do is quickly swing by such a place on my way home from work on a Friday and take a fixed amount --- $50 or $100 or whatever --- and plop it down on some NFL games for the weekend that is approaching. I might do the same if one of golf’s majors was around the corner or perhaps put a buck or two on the Stanley Cup playoffs, World Series or other contests that interest me. 

To me, betting would be a small hobby, nothing more and nothing less, to help spike the interest of the games. I don’t play much golf, so it would be akin to that for me. I would take money that is expendable income and plan on lose it and, hey if I win, that’s a bonus. 

But I just like having the option. I think having the option will really expand how I consume sports. I can’t be the only one who feels this way. ​

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