Sports Betting Smackdown: Delaware vs. The NFL

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The state of Delaware is examining creative means to make up for its $606 million budget deficit next year.  Governor Jack Markell has developed a wholly unoriginal idea:  sports betting.  Now they’re speaking my language.

Fight!

Fight!

Markell proposed early this month that the state investigate whether legalizing sports betting could make up for the budget shortfall.  The NCAA immediately pounced, saying that Delaware would face repercussions if it did so, threatening punitive damages for state schools and withdrawal from consideration to host NCAA events.

But the debate continued and the sports world has sent out the big guns.  Lobbyists from the NFL conflated in Delaware in the past few days to urge lawmakers not to consider voting for the bill.   The NFL is also considering bringing football players to the state to fight it.

Markell fired back at the NFL, saying that they promote gambling by providing their audiences with analysts that predict the final score of every game before it is played.  “The notion that the NFL has aggressively and actively fought against betting on its games is belied by the very programming the NFL indirectly endorses and from which it handsomely profits.”

Only two states currently allow sports betting to take place, Nevada and Montana.

What could the NFL’s angle be in this position?  Is it that they are afraid their fans will think it undermines the legitimacy of the game?  There are a thousand bookies in Vegas that are willing to accept any wager a citizen from Delaware has on the outcome of a game.   By legalizing betting inside the state, Delaware would retain that money instead of sending it to the desert.

RWP Rating: Normal

FULL STORY: http://www.delawareonline.com/article/20090329/NEWS02/903290386/1007

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