Has Sports Betting Gained too much Momentum to be Stopped? (Part 3)

1776 Continental Congress fundraising lottery ticket

The lottery led America into the age of legalized gambling.

The United States is on the precipice of legalizing gambling in professional sports. Finally officials are coming forward with thoughts that many have had for a long time. The billions waged by Americans are going the pockets of citizens, sports bookmakers and offshore sportsbooks, while fewer representatives and politicians preach about the “purity of the sport” being in jeopardy.

• America had a long history of gambling as it prepares for legal sports wagering.
• In British history sports and wagering were shared components.
• Gambling in the U.S has been considered the life blood of organized crime.

Whether a person is waging through a physical presence or an online sportsbook in the US, revenue is made daily outside the presence of Federal intervention or the sports leagues that is being gambled upon. Even before NBA Commissioner called for legalized gambling expansion, American soil has had a long history of gambling that has made the ground fertile for sports wagering.

On the wings of the lottery nationwide gambling extends.

Although the lottery was made banned during the time of alcohol prohibition, lotteries still remained illegal for over 30 years. The line wasn’t crossed until in 1964 when the state of New Hampshire became the first to have a legalized state lottery. Even though New Hampshire is one of the smallest states in the U.S, others saw it as an opportunity for increased state revenue and “jumped at the chance.”

New Hampshire lottery ticket 1964
Before long 12 other states followed suit led by New York in 1966 and New Jersey in 1970. Currently 40 out of 50 states have lotteries; many with multiple lotteries in each state. In addition there are 39 states with some form of legalized electronic gaming devices such as a slot machine, video poker or bingo. These locations include Indian casinos, commercial casinos, racetrack casinos and restaurants.

Venues such as horse racing, dog racing and ja alai cannot be ignored since they have been legalized gambling establishment for most of the 20th century without any bans or blockage of any kind. It should also be mentioned that these venues tend to attract people who have the legitimate power, influence and ability to bypass certain Federal and local

Looking at Europe, certain freedoms are definitely not limited to gambling. Sports gambling in Great Britain has an always will be a part of its culture. Betting parlors are sprawled throughout the country as well as gambling kiosks located at sports arenas. Online gambling is completely legal and done by computer, mobile device or the phone. Brits speak without candor publicly and privately about their involvements in gambling.

The ability to speak about gambling openly without any negative feedback or criticism (except in the case of a loss), shows wagering as an integral part of the British psyche. This part of the culture is even demonstrated by British television where football broadcasts contain gaming company advertisements that push audiences to wager on the games their watching with live odds given in the confines of UK gambling laws.

British gambling culture could be seen used as a measuring stick for the U.S.

National Lottery Draw
Great Britain has a thriving gambling culture which never looked at wagering as something that deteriorated the integrity of sport. In British history sports and wagering were shared components of the same foundation. When the first organized governing bodies for cricket leagues converged to develop a standardized book of regulations in the 1800’s there was a section included on how to gamble on cricket.

Not viewing gambling as “morally irreprehensible” may have helped gambling acceptance in Britain. Although sports betting has been illegal throughout British history, it has been condoned and treated leniently. Bookmaking in Britain didn’t have a close affinity to criminal organizations such as the mafia. By contrast in America where gambling is “the life blood of organized crime” said by Senator Estes Kefauver in 1950.

Even when gambling was a criminal act, the members involved in it weren’t seen as criminals by the general public; most likely because they were members of the public. There wasn’t a lack of separation that exists in U.S organized crime. In addition, people whose business was wagering didn’t follow other criminal suits such as prostitution and money laundering.

The fact that British sport hasn’t been plagued with a large scandal has helped maintain its longevity throughout the years. Perhaps if there was an event that equaled the Red Socks World Series scandal in 1919 well known in US gambling news, definite laws would have been enforced that would affect British sports history. The British Parliament has made it matter of normal discourse not to involve themselves in gambling legislation.

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