Gambling and the Law

Written By Janice Doughtrey

Everyone loves making new law and regulation, especially when there is a chance to slip in a new idea or way of business, life, entertainment, and sports. Things get interesting and at times just a bit peril less, when making new law and policy involves a phenomenon with a long-standing history or tradition. Regulated gambling and the NCAA (National Colligate Athletic Association) gives a fairly intricate and widely popular example of these instances.

For the sake of argument and time, the question of the legality of gambling where sports are involved is on the level? The better, and in some regard, the bigger question to ask is how and who should be appointed to monitor and administer sanctions and so forth. Another good question is how these standard operating procedures would influence the already complicated and well-debated world of college sports and the monies involved with it.

Even as the issue is big enough so that the Supreme Court is one go get involved with the action, there remains the nagging question of how does one take on something so vast. First of all, there is the simple aspect that gambling precedes any organized form of sports, as one of America’s favorite pass times. And, then there is the whole “poker night” side to putting points on the spread. Not to mention, who could ever forget the money line, quarter and half lines, halftime time’s lines, totals, parlay and teasers?

Sure, like the smut, alcohol and tobacco industries, there are ways to really crack down on activity. And, where the United States federal government and its agencies get involved, really anything can happen. That leads right up to the question of exactly who are the people who run casinos. Not that it is a question of character, but of ethics and conflicts of interest. Just from a logical and legal standpoint, can a person own a stadium and the casino parlor that both rake in awesome amounts of revenue? Who knows just how a single or conjoined unexplained or unforeseen phenomenon in one industry may affect the other.

However, the simple reality is that there are certain acts of law in place that say making things interesting for amateur sports is illegal. And for the sake of keeping things safe, and for the most part, decent, polite and civilized, there is no regulated or legal way to bet on college games. And, in a way, this way makes sense, from the government’s standpoint.

The bottom line is that a lot of government money goes into the institution of higher learning, which boils down to a lot of money collected in tax revenue. If the government allowed for gambling in amateur (collegiate) sports it would have to start collecting on that money as well. But, the bigger problem with the possibility of betting on college games is that it kind of goes against the underlying nature of established higher education. Graduating from an institution with questionable business practices can add lackluster to the shine of a degree, years or even decades post-graduation.