New Jersey Sports Gambling Too "Risky" For Major Leagues

By Harry Dole


NBA Commissioner David Stern is having trouble focusing on the many benefits of New Jersey’s legalized sports gambling initiaitive.  Mark J. Rebilas – USA TODAY SPORTS


NBA Commissioner David Stern proved last week he was completely out of touch with reality by fining the San Antonio Spurs $250,000 for Coach Gregg Popovich exercising his right to…well…coach.  Stern’s primary concern was tv ratings dropping down to the basement when he hit the roof after Popovich failed to dress his four best players for the Miami Heat nationally televised game.

Continuing on with his apparent dementia (probably due to being on the job too long), Stern has harshly reprimanded New Jersey Governor Chris Christie for his Government controlled sports gambling initiative in the Garden State.  Stern has attacked Christie’s sensible proposal by stating, “The one thing I’m certain of is New Jersey has no idea what it’s doing and doesn’t care because all it’s interested in is making a buck or two, and they don’t care that it’s at our potential loss.”

Exactly what losses will the NBA incur if sports gambling is legalized in New Jersey?  I did not know NBA stood for National Bookies Association.  Legalized sports gambling regulated by a state government creates no problems whatsoever, and if anything, brings gambling out of the sleazy crime ridden underground.

Under Stern, the NBA has seen a major gambling scandal involving former referee Tim Donaghy and has also had extremely suspect officiating during playoff games.  Government controlled sports gambling would help rid the league of such damning occurrences, with the Government having no motive to rig the outcome of games, since they are virtually guaranteed revenue regardless of the outcome of a single game.

In Canada, all corner convenience stores have access to sports gambling, which is operated by each Provincial Government.  There have been no negative consequences or incidents associated with this setup.  The revenue which is generated by the Governments helps to contribute to essential services.  With the recovery and rebuilding efforts from Hurricane Sandy still in its initial stages, New Jersey can use these funds more than ever.

Of course, the MLB svengali Bud Selig also had to weigh in with similar stern nonsense by stating, “But gambling is so … the threat of gambling and to create more threat is to me — I’m stunned. I know that people need sources of revenue, but you can’t — this is corruption in my opinion.  I’m really appalled.”

How does the threat of gambling create more threat?  It has created absolutely no threats in Canada, as Selig is using ridiculous fear mongering tactics to support his position, which he is unable to substantiate with facts and precedence.

Furthermore, what corruption is baseball’s king dingbat talking about?  Has it been proven that the Canadian Provincial Governments are engaging in corruption by controlling sports gambling for all these years?  The Collusion Commissioner is in need of a major reality check…or fact check, at the very least.

As for the NHL, being the weasel that he is, Lockout Commissioner Gary Bettman is hiding behind Federal Law on this matter.  Being a New York lawyer type, I guess Bettman is playing it dumb by ignoring that nonsensical puritanical laws become obsolete as times change and technology progresses.  It is no surprise that under Bettman’s backward thinking, the league has suffered substantially from repetitive major labor disputes at an alarming rate.

It is not often one sticks up for a politician, but Christie is the one who has it right here.  The major sports leagues are well aware that a significant amount of illegal gambling activity exists within the United States.  Why the leagues would prefer to have this activity remain illegal and not legitimize it, as it has been done successfully in Canada and the UK, is a rather odd stance.

Legalized sports gambling can safely and effectively generate significant Government revenue which can be pumped back into society for the benefit of all.  For some reason, the major sports leagues prefer the status quo of current gambling revenue circulating through the underground, with no benefit to society.

If that is the case, cui bono Mr. Stern and Mr. Bettman?  That is a question they both may want to take the fifth on.

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