With all of the controversy of gambling in college sports, why is the issue still an issue? The answer is money.
There were actions taken towards this by Congress, but the problem is that it was never completely abolished. Congress had made the mistake of creating a way around it. It is now commonly referred to as the Las Vegas loophole. They outlawed the betting nationwide with the exception of one state, one state that is the capital of gambling, Nevada. This has caused few changes, with the exception of the ever-growing revenue that it generates.
Another reason the legality still remains is one not frequently mentioned, but the question of the ban being constitutional. But no matter what the law, is there realistically ever going to be silence or content? To trace the tracks to the start of mending this problem, we need to go back to 1992. This is the year that the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act took precedence. This law restricts gambling on amateur sports in 46 states and essentially leaves Nevada as the only state that can take bets on those games. Sen.
John McCain (R-Ariz) and Rep. Lindsay Graham (R-S.C.) are striving to get two separate bills passed, both of which are targeted at prohibiting gambling on amateur sports. The bills were introduced a year ago, and at the time, were heavily favored. The bills would legally put a stop to betting on NCAA games, the oh-so-notorious March Madness (the NCAA Tournament), and wagering on all college sports for that matter. Las Vegas casino lobbyist have turned offensive.
Who wouldnt, if there were possibilities of losing a $700 million cash cow, with approximately $70 million on March Madness? The money that is generated from sports betting both legal and not, is much too vast to be eradicated. Nevada is the tree trunk for which sports gambling is derived. The casinos are complete with giant electronic boards that offer information on daily events ranging from odds to player injuries. This is the basis of most sports wagering.
Nevada generates $2.3 billion a year on legal sports betting , where as, betting on college sports revenue in Nevada accounts for $650 million of the amount. This is far from the issue though. If betting on college sports in Nevada is made illegal, I find the impact to be very small considering that illegal sports gambling has been estimated at $80 billion to $380 billion a year. At the least, 40 times the legal revenue generated seems very minute. In addition, studies have shown that for every dollar bet on sports in Vegas, $100 is bet with bookies and on the Internet.
Rep. Jim Gibbons (R-Nev.), says that there is nothing backing up that legal gambling in Nevada is in any way responsible for the illegal sports wagering that plagues our nations college campuses. Rep. Shelley Berkley (D-Nev.), said that no problems would be solved by eliminating legal bets any more than suggesting that outlawing aspirin would stop the sale of illegal drugs. A poll done by Gallop from March 18-20 (between the first two weekends of this years NCAA tournament) found that Americans were divided on issue.
The poll stated that 49% believe that college sports gambling should be illegal and 47% believe that it should not. Strikingly, college basketball fans are stuck on 48% on both stand-points. The possibility of abolishing gambling on college sports is not very likely nor does it hold much hope of bettering the problem. If the betting was banned, theres no possibility of it just disappearing. The figures and dollar amounts of illegal gambling are much too high now, and it is still legal.
What happens when Congress puts this law into effect and everyone ignores it? It surely does not say much about our society and its morals. Howard Shaffer, director of the Division on Addictions at Harvard Medical School, said If we pass legislation that we cannot enforce, it will undermine authority in general and young people dont need any more laws that nobody respects. Shaffer added, If its unenforceable, they will come to see other legislation as unenforceable and then well have problems where we dont necessarily have them today. People of all kinds are in agreeance that the impact of this law would hardly be worth the effort. John Shelk, vice president of the American Gaming Association, also stated Its not like Congress is going to pass a law that bans legal gambling, and students across the country will say, Oh my God, I cant gamble anymore because its illegal.Sen. McCain, co-author of last years Senate bill, had countered his opinion to ESPN.com by saying, I dont think we have to choose between enforcing existing laws on illegal gambling and closing the loophole on legal gambling.
McCain added, we can do both. McCain and others claim that eliminating legalized gambling in Nevada would be an essential first step on stopping the college sports gambling. Critics disagree. They believe that the attempt to chip away at illegal sports gambling isnt a logical first step, at all. The fact of the college sports gambling, is that there is too much publicity, popularity, and money surrounding this particular gambling sport.
In the beginning there was a problem with popularity. From 1951-1974, there was a 10% excise tax levied by the Federal Government on the amount of sports wagers. The tax made the business unprofitable since the profit margin was generally 5% or less before the tax.In 1974, Congress was persuaded by the Nevada congressional delegation. From this persuasion, Congress ended up cutting the tax from 10% to 2%.From there, the boom took off. It took a little time but the pay off was great. Wagers on professional and college sports were totaling $1.3 billion by 1988.
After the new wave had taken off, professional sports teams and the NCAA became concerned. One outspoken supporter was Bill Bradley, a former basketball star and Democratic Senator from New Jersey. Bradley expressed, state-sponsored sports betting could change forever the relationship between the players and the game, and the game and the fans. Sports would become the gamblers game and not the fans game, and athletes would become roulette chips, he pleaded in 1992. Bradley and others apparently made quite an impact because Congress enacted the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act, which was noted earlier as the Nevada loop hole. Again, the conflict elevated from there on out.
Realistically though, as much as the NCAA wants this legalization stopped, there is an issue thats never discussed, but could legally keep the association from doing anything. It is another loophole that Nevada has found, and is a little more concrete. It is the 10th amendment, which delegates powers to the states not to the federal government. This means that if the bill becomes a law, the state of Nevada will definitely have grounds to contest it. The popularity of college sports gambling has continued to grow over the years.
When the NCAA tournament begins to roll around each year, Nevada gets hard at work. March Madness, is virtually a madness. Its a craze that is so very wide-spread, it would literally be impossible to get rid of it. Brackets and spreads are created, and almost anybody with vision can say that they have seen the NCAA tournament bracket. It is so popular now that some media devote entire sections of newspapers to the event.
Its inevitable that readers are able to find the bracket listed, and usually bold and in full color. You can even find the bracket displayed at bars, restaurants, and even work places. More popular is the office pool that seems to have grown so much that women and even non-sports fans find them selves anteing in at a shot on the pool. If this legislation is to pass, how are things like the office pools going to be regulated? Can any one realistically imagine the day that cops and or Federal agents busting bars and business environments for illegal gambling all over the country? The idea of the regulation is ridiculous.
In addition to the casual gambling in offices and such, what about the vast expansion of gambling and sources of it on the Internet? The Internet is full of sites devoted to college sports and gambling of it.As far as the NCAA goes, it has what most would consider a hypocritical view on the situation. The NCAA claims to be firmly against the legal betting, but when it comes to the Tournament and other advertised events, one might think differently about the beliefs. In congressional testimony the NCAA says it opposes all forms of illegal sports wagering. Well, if anyone has heard of a little network called CBS, they might be able to recall a small tournament, in correlation with the network, called the NCAA Tournament.
These two were in conjunction for this years tournament, but somehow the NCAA had no problem with CBS repeatedly pointing viewers to CBS.Sportsline.com, all throughout the broadcast. Additionally, CBS.Sportsline.com owns Las Vegas Sports Consultants. Some authorities estimate that over 80% of Las Vegas sports books subscribe to the line, set by this firm.During the tournament, this web site offered a free Bracket Pool Manager, in addition to odds, points, spreads, over/unders, and so on. You cant gamble through the site, but what other purpose does a Bracket Pool Manager and other such emminities serve besides gambling.
When you link all of these things together, it just doesnt make any sense. There has to be an approval by the NCAA for all of this to have taken place, therefore, it is indeed to some extent, condoning this action that it claims to be so against. So what do you think that the NCAA can do or say? Would it be feasible for them to say no, you cant say that or broadcast our tournament anymore? NO! CBS accounts for 90%…yes, 90% of the NCAA operating revenue. I seriously doubt that the NCAA is so consumed with its beliefs, that it will just discard the whole money issue that goes along with it. The National Association of Basketball Coaches, Official Athletic Site believes that the NCAA has many problems that it needs to address and correct before jumping the gun to Congress.
Marc Isenbergs article on the site stated that, The NCAA cannot even begin to educate athletes and other students-or even congress-until it does the following: 1.) demand that CBS cut its ties with CBS.Sportsline.com and Las Vegas Sports Consultants, which are a major part of the infrastructure of gambling on college sports 2.) prohibit corporate partners from using bracket promotions or contests connected to the outcome of games 3.) refuse to credential media outlets who publish lines and accept ads from tout services 4.) fund a gambling education program on college campuses that addresses the problem of gambling, not just shaving. Can the NCAA tear itself away from its Show me the money outlook to conduct such a campaign? The answer is No. The truth remains, that nobody especially not the NCAA wants to go back to the unpopular, no money-making ways of the past. There is an undeniable problem with betting in college sports, mainly when it comes to students.This is the NCAAs major concern, but namely, point shaving. In general, point shaving is done by players that intentionally miss shots to change the outcome of the game.The NCAA has a very justifiable reason for the abolishment in terms of this actual concern.
Over the past view years, there have been many cases in which athletes got involved in the negative aspects of gambling. This would often times result in owing bookies so much that they would get sucked into the point shaving problem. One student made his mark when he got involved with his roommate, who was also a popular bookie that was being investigated by officials. The student was Teddy Dupay, a basketball player for the University of Florida Gators.
Dupay had shared winnings with his friend Kresten Lagerman, 23, after giving him inside information about whether the Gators could cover point spreads. Florida had also endured a 2000-2001 season filled with injuries. There were also many instances of injured players returning much sooner than expected. Following this discovery, Dupay was dismissed from the team. Another student, a running back at the Northwestern University had become the schools rushing leader. He had become involved in gambling so in-depth that he fumbled the football at the goal line to ensure his $400 wager on the point spread of his own game.
These are the instances that are worthy of the abolishing desire. Still, the fact remains that these examples and 99% of sports gambling is done illegally or under the table. The truth of the matter is that, this is another back-and-forth issue (like abortion) that will never have silence nor contentment. There are serious problems with players and the ethics of the game, but no matter what, a ban on sports gambling will never solve one-single problem. The fact remains that 99% of all sports gambling is done illegally.
Since it is currently legal, is there any truth to solving the problem by abolishing it? College sports gambling is truly not the real issue. There are too many other factors at play. When it comes to the players getting involved, I believe that they are able to make their own decisions. If they have difficulty doing that, there must be somewhat of a different issue- Ethics.
Apparently, the NCAA should concentrate more on its players than Nevada. With the problem of these players, it doesnt leave much meaning to the idea may the best man win. Bibliography Barlett, Donald L. and James B.
Steele, Throwing the Game, Time, (September 25, 2000) Gillespie, Mark, Americans Split on Whether Gambling on College Sports Should Be Banned, The Gallup Organization, (April 1, 2002) Isenberg, Marc, Gambling on College Sports: The NCAAs Solution is Part of the Problem, National Association of Basketball Coaches, Official Athletic Cite, (April 25, 2002) Jansen, Bart, Big name coaches support ban on amateur sports gambling, The Detroit News, (April 25, 2002) Pells, Eddie, Complaint: Dupay received money for sharing info, Slam! Basketball, (September 14, 2001) Rovell, Darren, Congree could trump Vegas on college book, ESPN, (March 15, 2002) Sauve, Valerie, Issues Committee holds discussion on illegal sports wagering in NCAA, The Daily Beacon, (March 5, 2002)Words / Pages : 2,369 / 24