Bet the Farm

As if America was not already overwhelmed with Spork betting, the Supreme Court has thrown the barn door wide open, voiding a law that limited spork betting to only Nevada.

Supreme Court legalizes sports gambling nationwide

States will have the option to regulate gambling in their state.

You already voted!
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17 Responses to Bet the Farm

  1. CC1s121LrBGT says:

    A decade or more ago, shortly after the Congress had passed that illegal law, the federal government arrested a British citizen who ran a Carribean based internet gambling site when he touched down in the US to change planes. His crime was that American customers had used his site.

  2. TheChairman says:

    The Sporksbooks have been pushing and waiting in the wings for a long time (20 years), this decision all but assures their monopoly and keeps it ‘in the family’.

    When I consulted for ‘The Firm’ (unwittingly, and that’s all I’ll say) back in the late 1990’s, their only two areas of interest regarding the Internet were adult and gaming. It became clear that Internet gambling was going nowhere fast, so the big players in that arena set up shop in St Kitts, Antiqua, and other offshore gaming enclaves. Their foot in the door was fantasy sports, along with so-called ‘play money’ betting, which quietly morphed into the equivalent of casino chips and cashing out for real money.

    For the most part, SCOTUS is merely acknowledging what is already occurring. This brings the activity out into the open, for good (tax revenue) or bad (more addiction).

    It is very much following the path of pot legalization, wherein the professionals (e.g. Amsterdam) were geared up and ready to roll with marketing, product, and logistics. Churchill Downs and Caesars made such announcements on the same day. You can bet the big boys were wired up for this years ago and just waiting to flip the switch.

    No, it does not bode well. As a nation, we are saturated with sports & gambling… but of course, that is the plan: distraction, diversion, vice, escapism. Brave New World.

    • Fred Stiening says:

      Unfortunately, a close family relative fell for that. He starting playing poker online with make believe money, and thought he was a great poker player because he always won. Then he graduated to real money and his luck changed. I tried to warn him, but he now insists I’m the moron. For the past 20 years, his life revolves around he next trip to the real casino (without his wife). Like all compulsive gamblers, he always wins – as long as he doesn’t keep records.

      • CC1s121LrBGT says:

        Gambling is a bad thing but it can teach good lessons. I learned when I was about 12.

        I had known more about sports and sports statistics than anyone in my class. I started betting 25 ¢, 10 ¢ and sometimes even $1 on mostly NFL games. I learned quickly that I could make money betting other kids against the home team. Fans would not be fans if they were not both emotional and optimistic.

        I made some money but then learned that losers did not want to pay up… and bigger kids, especially bullies, were never going to pay short of me hiring someone to break their kneecaps. Not going to happen. So by the time the unpaid debt exceeded my winnings, I shut it down and in the decades since have always avoided the office pools for lottery tickets and Super Bowl bets. I am glad I learned when the stakes were 10 ¢ and 25¢.

        • Fred Stiening says:

          I enjoy the office football pools where the person running the thing indirectly assigns which squares are bought by the others. Given the non-random scoring system in football, some of the possible numbers are highly improbable.

          A story from my past – I was working as an assistant manager of a defunct hamburger chain. We had some sort of contest where people dropped their name and phone # in a box. When it came time to draw the winner, my manager (a woman in her twenties) opened the box and looked through the cards until she found the one her mother had dropped in. Needless to say that damaged my trust in her and taught me to not waste time on any contest where the important part is not done in the open.

          But that is not enough. My father (who most of you know was totally blind) told me a story of how he was asked to draw a winning raffle ticket. The fire department in Dormont had an annual event where on a July 4th, they gave away a Cadillac. He drew the ticket and some well known dirtbag was the winner. Of course, my dad did not read the winning ticket number, so it was trivial for the master of ceremonies to just announce a preselected winner.

        • TheChairman says:

          CC, you reminded me of a ‘marble shark’ I encountered in grade school. LOL! It was my earliest introduction to the realities of gambling. I lost some of my favorite marbles engaging in a winner-takes-all playground shootout. As I recall, I didn’t even get past the first round. A bitter day. 😉

      • Parrott says:

        I have a couple relatives like that also Fred. They don’t know shite!
        Back in the crazy days when I was in college , I knew everything. I had a sports bookie. His name was ‘worm’ . I would bet $25 on a NFL game or a college basketball game. Did pretty good was up a thousand, which was mega bucks to me being in school. Bought new tires for my Pinto. Would take my girlfriend out to dinner and dancing with a couple other friends her girl friend and a friend of mine. Always had gas in the tank, which was dangerous in a Pinto, but I drove.
        We had fun, I was 21, 22 it was great.
        well march madness rolled around and I lost it all . They took it all back. I had to borrow cash to pay ‘worn’. $25 plus 10%
        $27.50 It was only like $1800 dollars but it might has well been $18K.
        The electrician I was working with loaned me the money, but with the stipulation that I never gamble again.
        I never have. Learned my lesson. I try to tell my other relatives, but they know everything, wink. wink. My brother inlaw lost his ass one Christmas and didn’t buy his parents gifts.
        you can’t tell them anything.
        Yeah its not good

      • TheChairman says:

        The same thing happened to someone in my family. It took a similar path, he got pulled into it after he retired… which is a primary target group of casinos located on indian reservations.

        Our conversation went something like this back in 2000:

        Him: Well, I’m retiring in a few months. (age 63)

        Me: “Really, at 63? What are you planning to do?”

        Him: “Retire.”

        Me: “Yes, but what hobbies & activities to keep yourself busy?”

        Him: “Oh, I don’t know. Relax, dine out occasionally, golf a bit.”

        Well, over time he got bored, couldn’t play golf anymore, and started “going to the Casino for the entertainment, food, and a few shows.” Soon, it became more frequent; instead of once in while, it was every 3-4 weeks. Then he received one of those ubiquitous ‘VIP’ cards and the comps soon followed. i.e. They don’t give you gifts or a room if you’re winning 100% of the time; they call security and start watching you like a hawk. Ultimately, he was forced to stop… his savings evaporated.

        Back then, one had to go to a Casino, racetrack, or find a bookie to make a wager. This will be far more insidious because it will no longer be ‘illegal’ or risky, and bettors will be able do it from the convenience and comfort of their home, car, office, etc.

        • Fred Stiening says:

          Another personal anecdote from about 20 years (countess knows all my stories already). Being 40ish and never married, I decided to risk meeting a woman I had met online to see if we might become a thing. I lived in Detroit area and she lived in the Upper Peninsula (da U.P.). She had a job working for the school system as a technology resource person, lived at home with her parents, but was ~40 years old and no savings. We were meeting at the Indian casino on the far side of the Mackinaw bridge.

          I bought $20 in nickels and that was my limit. I deliberately drifted away from her so she might forget I was there. Unfortunately, I won a few slot machine jackpots, so it took longer than I expected to spend my $20. Now that I was finished, I looked around – drifting away also would have allowed her to dump me if she was unhappy with me. I fortunately remembered what she looked like, and found her standing in front of three $1 slot machines, playing them as fast as she could. Mystery solved. She had been winning, of course.

          The bigger gamble though was the night before. When the subject of the possibility of getting pregnant came up, she told me not to worry – since she knew we might have sex, she had started taking her birth control pills again and had taken them for several days. I guess she assumed my high school sex education class didn’t cover how birth control works. She also said it was really unlikely she could get pregnant because of her thyroid hormone levels. Needless to say, I used self restraint and skipped the chance to become a long distance father with a mother with a serious gambling problem

          • TheChairman says:

            The person I mention above began at Soaring Eagle Casino in Mt Pleasant, MI… As time progressed, the Detroit casinos opened and he realized those were a bit closer. Then he moved to Denver and found a cluster of casinos in the foothills about an hour away; that is where it became a weekend habit with VIP card ‘comps’ and gifts. Not a high-roller, just a typical slots and video poker player; another retiree on a fixed income, lured in by casino marketing.

            I’m like you Fred, whenever I go to a casino or racetrack (about once every 10 years), I have a fixed amount to bet. When it’s gone, I’m done.

            Once, about 30 years ago, I rode with a co-worker up to Laughlin, NV (from Phoenix). I soon realized he had quite a habit; when he ran out of cash at 11pm, he went back across the CO river to Arizona and drew more from his bank’s ATM, circumventing ‘daily limits’ because of the time zone (new day) and returned to the casinos.

  3. CC1s121LrBGT says:

    About 10 years ago, I learned that Americans are better than average at gambling and in particular much better than Chinese. The source of my information was the newly opened casinos in Macau, an offshore gambling place for Chinese. Interestingly, the Americans with all the luck were of Chinese descent. Most American gamblers would not travel halfway around the world to gamble in a Communist country, and those that did and were not of Chinese descent had poor luck.

    A little further research revealed that when the winning Americans of Chinese descent were in the casinos, so were their less lucky Chinese relatives…. and when I say less lucky, it is relative. While the Chinese relatives all lost a fortune in the casino, they had plenty of wealth to spare and were some of the newly minted Chinese millionaires.

    The bottom line was that the newly wealthy Chinese were using the casino to launder money and get it out of the country. They’d buy chips, hand them to their American relatives to cash out and bring the money back to America to establish an account there.

    Bitcoin has replaced this mechanism.

  4. CC1s121LrBGT says:

    Attention train buffs: extremely high tax state Connecticut, while bleeding jobs and business such as GE which recently moved its HQ to Massachusetts, has bet the taxpayer’s farm on the rail.

    A new real line starts today- not on a new route, but one parallel to a toll-free Interstate 91. They bet $700 million dollars they will optimistically be able to ” to divert 1.5 million car trips per year”. By my math, with the standard state pension assumption of 7% annual interest, that is $49 million per year interest or about $32 per car trip.

    Taxpayers will probably never recover the $700 million… and are not likely to collect property taxes on the real estate.

    Will riders pay the full operating costs and Uber rides to and from each station so that they can keep their Lexus home in the garage? In my opinion, neither is likely.

    • Fred Stiening says:

      Amtrak just spent a ton of money rehabbing tracks between Springfield and New Haven. I think this may be on another competing rail line on the opposite side of the river.

      I didn’t drive much in CT, but was stunned by the huge freeways for commuters to get to work in Hartford, while I-84 to NY, the Merritt Parkway and I-95 had few improvements since the 1960s. State employees are more equal than others.

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