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Take the Grizzlies Plus the Points and, um, Vote for Me!


Every year, in the days leading up to the Super Bowl (that's right, I called it the Super Bowl, what are you gonna do, NFL?), mainstream media outlets run stories on the various and sundry prop (that's gambler lingo for "proposition") bets available to the public. See, for example, this slideshow from Forbes and the accompanying story. As that story notes, only a fraction of the wagers that are placed each year -- from the ho-hum "Which team is going to win the game?" to the marginally relevant but nevertheless popular "What color Gatorade will be dumped on the winning coach?" -- are placed in a sports book in Nevada, the only state in which this particular kind of fun is, strictly speaking, legal. The rest of the money at risk, totaling in the billions of dollars, is handled by "online and other forms of underground wagering" operations.

The specifics are oft-debated, but it remains the case that online gambling is illegal in the U.S. Or, at least, the acceptance by an online gambling site of any feasible alternative for funding the account of a U.S.-based customer is illegal. Like I said, oft-debated. But, at least one real-life Brandon Lang has, in the wake of last night's inspirational Saints victory, called on President Obama to legalize, once and for all, sports gambling and all other online gambling, nationwide. This impassioned plea comes from not just any oddsmaker, but erstwhile vice-presidential candidate Wayne Root. In his article, "Lessons Obama Should Have Learned From Watching the Super Bowl," Root also requests that the President stop dissing Las Vegas, stop wasting money on such things as unmemorable, ineffective ads for the census and reward risk-taking by letting small business owners keep -- and gamble -- more of their money.

They're already talking about Palin for 2012. I might just be willing to put a decent chunk of change on the proposition that Root is angling to be the next Bob Barr. I'm not, however, ready to speculate on what they might pour over his head should he secure the nomination.

Posted by Eric Lipman on February 8, 2010 at 04:59 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)


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