With states all over the country looking for new ways to help alleviate budget problems in this struggling economy, Delaware governor Jack Markell may be on the verge of becoming quite the trendsetter across the United States. While many states no allow some sort of gambling within their borders, whether through riverboats or at racetracks, one type of gambling that's always been taboo has been sports betting.
Markell is trying to change that in Delaware. He sees it as a great way for the state of Delaware to help close the gap in their $700 million deficit in the state budget. What Markell is proposing is a sort of state run lottery when it comes to gambling on sports. If it passes and helps the state of Delaware make more money, you can be pretty sure that other states across the country will soon follow suit.
Why shouldn't they?
In reality, the ban on sports betting is somewhat akin to the Prohibition era. While you're not supposed to do it, it's easier than ever these days thanks to online sports books such as Bodog or BetUS. All you have to do is go to one of these sites, deposit some money from your checking account, and then you're free to start betting on any sporting matchup you like.
According to Chad Millman's article at ESPN, a study done over a decade ago by Congress showed that $380 billion was bet on sports annually, and that was before online gaming became so immensely popular, so it's possible that amount may have doubled since then. Wouldn't it make sense for the government to try and get their hands on some of that cash?
How is betting on sports any different than going to your local gas station and buying a Lotto ticket?
Now sports leagues like the NFL are saying they're opposed to this idea, but you have to wonder whether they really mean it or if they're just posturing to stay within the good graces of the current laws. After all, if it wasn't for betting on games or things like fantasy football, odds are the NFL would lose half of its fan base.
While the sports leagues themselves can say they're against it, you can bet that governors from other states around the country will be keeping a close eye on how things go in Delaware. If it helps the state weather this economic storm, other states may end up hitting the jackpot as well.