Bell Curve The Law Talking Guy Raised by Republicans U.S. West
Well, he's kind of had it in for me ever since I accidentally ran over his dog. Actually, replace "accidentally" with "repeatedly," and replace "dog" with "son."

Monday, August 24, 2009

Delaware Fails to Beat the Spread

A US Appellate Court ruled today that Delaware may not allow gambling on individual sports games the way it is done in Nevada. For reasons that are hard to fathom, a 1992 law banned sports betting but gave exemptions to states that applied before a certain date. Delaware is one of the four states that won an exemption - the other three are Nevada, Montana, and Oregon (although little is done in Montana or Oregon with the permission). For some reason that we haven't yet seen in writing, the court has decided that Delaware's exemption doesn't cover what it would have appeared to cover. I'm sure this makes some sort of sense, although it smacks of result-oriented judging to me. Frankly, the whole legislative scheme seems bizarre and unconstitutional. But nevermind.

All of this makes me want to ask the Citizens as we get into the College Football season: should gambling be permitted on individual games? If not, how does the loophole for Las Vegas affect the arguments for and against? Clearly, the law is designed to prevent pressure - both legal and illegal pressure - on players to "throw" a game, or on referees. It is an anti-corruption measure. It is also designed to restrict organized crime which, of course, is the the persistent companion of gambling.

I confess that I enjoy going to Las Vegas and making small bets on sporting events. I run a college basketball pool every year also. At my level, it is hard to argue that any harm is done. Similarly, although illegal, pools of various kinds for sporting events (plus plain old private wagers) are common nationwide. Enforcement for small bets not connected to organized crime is not seen to be valuable: the amount of money at stake is unlikely to be large or concentrated enough to cause the ill effects that the law is designed to prevent. If gambling is to be legal at all, why not gambling on sports? Does it matter if it is professional or college sports? What about the Olympics?

9 comments:

Raised By Republicans said...

I think that this smells like the court just acted to protect Atlantic City's regional monopoly as a gambling destination (Question: what is New Jersey's situation in all of this?).

On principle, I think that if New Jersey and Nevada are allowed to have casinos etc, every state should be allowed to do so if they wish.

That said, if my local government wanted to permit a casino, I'm not sure I'd be a supporter of it.

The Law Talking Guy said...

I hadn't thought about it, the 3rd circuit does include both NJ and DE.

But Atlantic City does not have the right to have sports betting. So it isn't protecting that specific monopoly. In fact, Delaware can have all the gambling that NJ does right now.

Anonymous said...

Wonder why this isn't a conflict of interest...the Maloof brothers are LV casino owners and they own the NBAs Sacramento Kings...and the casno has a sports book...

Bob said...

Your summary does sound like suspiciously results-oriented.

To address your comments, my understanding (second- and third-hand discussions with local police) is that the scale of the gambling is critical, from an enforcement perspective. As long as the bingo stakes are low enough, they'd turn a blind eye. Indirectly, it seemed that the issue was whether the gambling in question was eating into the market share for the state lottery.

And my source for this thought "selective enforcement" was just fine. Low-stakes gambling, as LTG says, is pretty harmless. But if it gets rich enough, organized crime and disorganized fraud start sniffing around and exploiting people.

Note that those aren't the same _kind_ of gambling, but my impression is that there's a lot of vague gambling demand, and that any new venue (say, sports betting in Delaware) is assumed to take business from other local venues (say, blackjack in Atlantic City). Whether that's really true or not, I don't know; but the vested gambling interests seem to lobby that way.

Britain has much looser laws -- essentially none -- regarding betting between individuals. Organized gambling (where someone's profiting from being the "house") is much more regulated, I think partly for taxation purposes and partly to protect the public from scams.

Virginia has some rather odd wording of their laws (I'm not a lawyer, which I'm pretty sure means I can read the law, but don't know what it means. :) ) Gambling on "any game, contest or any other event the outcome of which is uncertain or a matter of chance" is illegal, except that participating in games of chance in private residences are ok, and participants in "any contest of speed or skill between men, animals, fowl or vehicles" can win prizes or stakes. Of course, if the outcome wasn't "uncertain", they wouldn't run the race...

I do agree that states ought to have equal rights -- I don't see a justification for allowing some states to pass certain laws and others not.

Personally, my impression is that the Indian casino expansion (I'm thinking of Foxwoods) didn't seem to bring about the end of the world. So I feel like there's other places the federal gov't should be focused more than regulating states regulating gambling.

As far as sports gambling is concerned, I don't really see how betting on sports is better or worse than betting on horses. (Both of which don't appeal to me personally, because there's too much opportunity for manipulation. But as far as legality goes, I figure you makes yer bets and you take yer chances.)

The Law Talking Guy said...

More than one court has ruled that poker is not a game of chance, and that it is therefore not illegal for betting purposes. These decisions are probably not to be taken seriously, however.

I find the idea of a general gambling demand (call it "G") to be fascinating. So the idea is to regulate G, suppress it to some extent, and channel it away from organized crime or corrupt influences. I wonder how true this is in practice. In CA, for example, it has long been a running problem that blackjack is forbidden in local cardhouses. Thus they play 22 and weirdly related games. This bothers everyone.

Raised By Republicans said...

"More than one court has ruled that poker is not a game of chance, and that it is therefore not illegal for betting purposes."

Must be because so many lawyers play it. :-)

Anonymous said...

Good day !.
You may , probably curious to know how one can manage to receive high yields .
There is no initial capital needed You may start to get income with as small sum of money as 20-100 dollars.

AimTrust is what you need
AimTrust incorporates an offshore structure with advanced asset management technologies in production and delivery of pipes for oil and gas.

Its head office is in Panama with offices everywhere: In USA, Canada, Cyprus.
Do you want to become a happy investor?
That`s your choice That`s what you really need!

I`m happy and lucky, I began to get income with the help of this company,
and I invite you to do the same. It`s all about how to select a proper companion utilizes your savings in a right way - that`s AimTrust!.
I make 2G daily, and what I started with was a funny sum of 500 bucks!
It`s easy to get involved , just click this link http://irunyzesal.o-f.com/usisotur.html
and lucky you`re! Let`s take our chance together to become rich

Anonymous said...

Hi !.
You may , perhaps curious to know how one can reach 2000 per day of income .
There is no need to invest much at first. You may commense to get income with as small sum of money as 20-100 dollars.

AimTrust is what you thought of all the time
The firm represents an offshore structure with advanced asset management technologies in production and delivery of pipes for oil and gas.

Its head office is in Panama with affiliates around the world.
Do you want to become a happy investor?
That`s your chance That`s what you wish in the long run!

I feel good, I began to get real money with the help of this company,
and I invite you to do the same. It`s all about how to select a correct companion who uses your savings in a right way - that`s it!.
I take now up to 2G every day, and my first deposit was 1 grand only!
It`s easy to get involved , just click this link http://yqakisusuw.uvoweb.net/xexemi.html
and lucky you`re! Let`s take this option together to feel the smell of real money

Anonymous said...

Hi there!
I would like to burn a theme at here. There is such a thing, called HYIP, or High Yield Investment Program. It reminds of financial piramyde, but in rare cases one may happen to meet a company that really pays up to 2% daily not on invested money, but from real profits.

For quite a long time, I earn money with the help of these programs.
I don't have problems with money now, but there are heights that must be conquered . I get now up to 2G a day , and my first investment was 500 dollars only.
Right now, I managed to catch a guaranteed variant to make a sharp rise . Turn to my blog to get additional info.

http://theinvestblog.com [url=http://theinvestblog.com]Online Investment Blog[/url]