As I was standing in line at the local convenience store, the federal government’s position on sports betting became a living farce. The gentleman in front of me was busy purchasing $25 of state-sanctioned lottery tickets, while the woman to my left was pre-occupied with her state-sanctioned scratch-off tickets. As the man nervously instructed the cashier to input his lucky numbers (as if he had a winning system or something) and as the woman was frantically scratching off those instant lottery tickets in hopes of realizing the American Dream, it became apparent to me that the federal government had no credibility on the issue of gambling.
Under the government’s position, one can spend an unlimited amount of his or her hard-earned money on an assortment of lottery tickets that have the worst odds of any gambling venture.; one can legally wager on horse races and dog races, whether it be from the track itself or from some remote location sanctioned by the particular state; and one can spend countless hours and days gambling in casinos throughout the United States, while the various states fund education and other social programs with the losses of its very own residents.
However, according to the federal government, one cannot wake up on a Sunday morning and place a $20 wager on his favorite sports team. Sure, go ahead and frequent the local convenience store and spend your money on lottery tickets, or drive to the local track and wager on your favorite horses or visit your local casino and spend hours putting your money into slot machines. But, when it comes to placing a small wager on the New York Jets, the politicians who troll the hallways in Washington, D.C. have said, “Hell No!”
The federal government’s position on sports betting became more hypocritical than ever after watching the man and woman depart the convenience store with frowns on their faces and lighter pockets to boot.