Sports Bettors Unhappy With Frank’s Internet Gaming Bill

by Lou on April 30, 2007

The sports betting community are not happy campers, especially when it comes to Barney Frank’s bill establishing a federal regulatory and enforcement framework for Internet gambling operators. While online poker players will be pleased as punch to see this bill become law, the sports betting community will not.

From their perspective, too many restrictions are written into the bill. Nelson Lardner, writing in, said:

The various opt-out options delineated within the proposed bill essentially doom its legitimate prospects as a game-plan outline. Under its auspices, each individual major sports entity would be given a window of opportunity to withhold its on-field/court product from government-approved gaming usage. Given their consistent pronouncements across the years, it’s impossible to conceive that the NFL, the major leagues, or the NCAA football and basketball operations would permit their contests to be formally and officially employed as wagering mediums.

Lardner argues for a US version of the British model, based on betting shops and market pressure to assure that competitive odds offered to the wagering public.
Given the NFL’s hypocritical stance — they go out of their way to distain betting on sports while knowing much of their bread and butter support comes from wagering on the Super Bowl and weekly games — I don’t see legalized online betting for pro football, pro basketball, and probably hockey and baseball on the horizon at all.

Even Monday Night Football, which for decades has been the NFL’s prime offering, is frequently driven by wagering. The only reason fans stay tuned to the second half of blowout games is to see who covers and who does not, and whether their bet on the over-under won them some money.

The NFL knows this, yet rails against betting on their sport. It’s time for them to grow up, get real, and start over.

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