Thread: Gambling
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Old Tue Apr 04, 2000, 11:48am
Jim Dixon Jim Dixon is offline
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Originally posted by bsilliman:
. . . I am biased since I live in Las Vegas and do enjoy betting on college sports.

By your own admission you substantiate part of the findings of the gambling problem among sports officials. You just don't get it because you have the perspective that it is not an ethical or moral problem. Yet, if it is not, then why is it necessary for a major university to subsidize research about the extent of the problem?

. . . If you notice the numbers they put into the article basically match the national average for problem gamblers.

If sports officials didn't bet, then the average would be zero. Don't you think we are called to a higher ethical standard?

We are indeed called to a higher behavioral standard in our actions and speech on the court--otherwise you would have a legitimate basis for doing the same things that some (not all) coaches get by with. We definitely don't want to go there.

We in Las Vegas say if legal gambling is outlawed then who will regulate the sport.

That is not the issue. Betting by sports officials is the issue.

I think there is something to be said for the suggestions provided in the comments below (partially quoted from CNNSI.COM).


Sports Illustrated senior writer Tim Layden

Posted: Friday March 31, 2000 05:39 PM

Lesson No. 1: Point spreads are the currency of American sports, and not just for guys who look like they should be in The Sopranos. For college kids. Betting generates much of the energy you see in arenas and stadiums.

Lesson No. 2: If you can't get a bet down on any college campus in America, you aren't trying. Bookies are everywhere. And most of them are students.

Lesson No. 3: An awful lot of student bettors are convinced that games are getting fixed by student-athletes in their midst. (At the time they seemed like little Oliver Stones, but in recent years, scandals at Northwestern, Boston College and Arizona State have given them credibility and given me good reason to think that there's a lot more going on than what's uncovered. Trust me, it makes you look at games differently.)

. . . The simplest way for professional gamblers to make their money is by placing bets in Las Vegas. However, Vegas only gets a small portion of the action. Illegal gambling accounts for the rest -- north of 90 percent, according to some surveys.

. . . . Bottom line: You can complicate pro gamblers' lives, but you can no more put them out of business with one bill than you can eradicate the drug trade.

The NCAA and its member colleges, as always, are hoping Congress will bail them out, when it's the schools who need to address the problem. They need to make gambling on campus a serious issue and not just a topic of politically correct conversation. Athletes get involved in gambling because bookies are down the hall, up the stairs and in the bleachers. College presidents and athletic directors often say that gambling is a societal problem. So are binge drinking, drug use and date rape, and colleges have taken dramatic action to control those problems.

The truth is that colleges have made gambling and bookmaking by students a B-list priority, much as society has done with compulsive gambling, a horrible affliction, relative to alcoholism and drug addiction. You want to cut down gambling on college sports? Start by finding the bookies and gamblers on the campuses themselves and punishing them. Make it dangerous -- and uncool -- to make book or lay down bets. It's not a quick fix but it's the only one with legs.

Thus, a major part of the gambling problem among athletes can be taken care by doing something along these lines. A major part of the gambling problem among sports officials can be taken care of by most of us not gambling, and encouraging our peers to refrain. The alternative is for the gamblers to depart the avocation.

Jim Dixon

[This message has been edited by Jim Dixon (edited April 04, 2000).]

[This message has been edited by Jim Dixon (edited April 04, 2000).]
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