“Behind-the-Scenes Effort Underway” to Legalize Sports Betting in Minnesota Legislature

LAS VEGAS – MARCH 19: In this handout provided by the Las Vegas News Bureau, the Mirage Resort Race and Sports Book in Las Vegas is shown crowded with basketball fans during NCAA March Madness Tournament March 19, 2010. in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Glenn Pinkerton/Las Vegas News Bureau via Getty Images)

LAS VEGAS – MARCH 19: In this handout provided by the Las Vegas News Bureau, the Mirage Resort Race and Sports Book in Las Vegas is shown crowded with basketball fans during NCAA March Madness Tournament March 19, 2010. in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Glenn Pinkerton/Las Vegas News Bureau via Getty Images)



While it couldn’t stop Nevada, the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992 halted full-scale sports betting for the rest of America. However, within the year, the U.S. Supreme Court is expected to revisit the constitutionality of that gambling prohibition.

Reversal of the 26-year-old Act is gaining steam and, in anticipation, the Minnesota Legislature is making moves:

Per the StarTribune, “a behind-the-scenes effort is underway at the Minnesota Legislature to legalize sports betting.” Pat Garofalo (Farmington) is one of the State Representatives who vocally supports the not-yet proposed legislation

Please Note: Garofalo also said he “won’t submit a sports gambling bill the tribal casinos are opposed to.

Despite fully agreeing with Mr. Garofalo on passing a sports gambling bill, I don’t see eye-to-eye with him on the logic that if Minnesota does nothing “the offshore sports books will flood social media and scoop up bettors.” His mentioned influx of overseas gambling websites has already occurred.

Let’s not sugar coat things. The days of requiring Las Vegas or a back-door bookie to place a wager are gone. Sure, it might be against the law but; if you want to get the adrenaline flowing by dabbling in some offshore sports gambling, well, it’s easy like Sunday Morning.

I’m going to go out on a (really strong and safe) limb and say he illegally gambled on that basketball game. On that note, despite the criminal’s isolation from the party, he’s far from alone in the presumed activity:

The NFL, NCAA, and other leagues continue to argue that keeping the federal gambling ban in tact “is necessary to protect the integrity of their games.” From a fundamental point of view, that makes sense. However, from an “at least $150 billion year” point of view, the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act isn’t protecting shit much.

Another organization against reversing the 1992 law is the Citizens Against Gambling Expansion (Aka: CAGE). Jake Grassel, a spokesman for the group, saidinternet expansion will mean we have a gambling facility in every home, library and Starbucks in the state.

To me, that statement makes Jake appear naive on the accessibility of offshore sports betting sites. Let’s treat the first four words like a typo and try again:

Internet expansion will mean We have a gambling facility in every home, library and Starbucks in the state.

CAGE’s fight to reduce addiction and prevent underage gambling is a morally strong battle. Unfortunately for Grassel and crew, sports betting is already available “in every home, library and Starbucks in the state.” anywhere with internet access. In addition to being readily available and easy to use, websites will even throw-in a little something extra for joining:

Link: Bovada.lv

 

As for where a company like Bovada’s proceeds’ end up? Hell if I know. Wherever that may be, doesn’t it make more sense to see those winnings and deposit fees coming right back to the Land of 10K Lakes? Wouldn’t the resulting increase in jobs be an additional positive?

I know we are Minnesota Nice, but stopping all this generosity to offshore websites seems like a no-brainer.

Johnny Minnesota @TheJohnnyMN
Minnesota Sports Fan MinnesotaSportsFan.com