Casino gambling and I do not get along.
I have nothing against it, but I consistently lose. So, I stay away from the tables and the slots. But I am glad for Kansans that they are finally legal in this state.
Lotteries, too, are voluntarily off-limits to me. I cannot bring myself to bet with the same chances of getting hit by lightning.
But, ah, there is one kind of gambling that I do, once a year, and that is on college basketball during “March Madness.”
Almost every year, my son, who lives in California, and I meet up in Las Vegas. My son comes with his well-researched bets. We then watch our selected teams play basketball over the long weekend.
It is a blast, and a great opportunity to spend time alone with my son.
The thought always occurs to me, however, that a bettor should not have to make the trip to Nevada in order to legally place their bets.
If we can wager in a casino, or bet on the lottery, why shouldn’t we, in Kansas, allow sports betting in our casinos?
Right now, there is a federal ban against sports betting, except in Nevada, Delaware, Oregon and Montana. Those states legalized it right before the passage of the “Bradley Act” in 1992, banning sports betting.
New Jersey, with its Atlantic City casinos, should have hurried up to legalize sports gambling, but failed to do so.
Last fall, New Jersey residents voted 2-1 that they would like to see sports betting allowed in the state. Legislation was passed in the state to allow sports betting in casinos and race tracks in New Jersey.
New Jersey is being sued by the NCAA, NHL, NBA, and NFL to prevent the law from going into effect.
They mainly argue that sports wagering would jeopardize the integrity of the sports.
This is a ridiculous argument.
Sports wagering, as I said, is legal in several states already. But more to the point, illegal betting is alive and well. Everyone knows that bookies are raking in the dough from fans who are placing bets.
Why not legitimize it, eliminate corruption, and tax it? It would bring in extra revenue to states like Kansas, which are hunting for new sources of revenue to make up for wide budget gaps.
The federal ban on sports betting should be repealed. It should be allowed in casinos, in states where casinos are legal. Let it be highly regulated, just like casino gambling is.
In the meantime, my son and I have already bought our plane tickets and have our reservations in Las Vegas for this coming “March Madness” weekend.
I would hate to give up that special trip, even if sports betting were legalized in Kansas. But the right thing to do — for those people who don’t want to go or can’t go to Las Vegas — is to allow sports betting right in their own back yard.
| Special to The Star