Call it gambling, gaming, wagering, betting, whatever. Whether it’s on sports, blackjack, poker, or a horse named ‘Hoof the magic dragster,’ it’s a sin, the devil’s doing, and even if you happen to win mega-millions (God willing), ask any evangelical and they’ll tell you you’re going to wind up in hell.
Sports betting has never quite shared the same negative image that traditional gambling, such as casino games and poker. However, with the recent proliferation of online casinos and other gambling websites adding sports betting to their already existing services, the debate is only going to get hotter, particularly in the United States, where online gambling has already suffered a major blow.
Now, to add even more fuel to the already fiery debate, NBA referee Tim Donaghy has been accused of betting on basketball games he himself was officiating. Unbelievable? Perhaps. But less face it, the odds of this happening were very, very good. The odds of someone getting caught were merely lower.
Some folks, especially conservative members of Congress, are saying this marks the beginning of the end for betting on sports. Yeah, right. I wouldn’t bet on it. Wagering on your favourite football, hockey or baseball team to win (or lose) is fun. Tons of fun. To even contemplate depriving Americans of this fun may succeed to a minor degree in the short run, but not in the long run. Prohibiting online sports betting would be so un-American, it scares me to just think about it. After all, it’s not whether you win or lose, it’s how much you win or lose.