The Governor of Delaware has a wacky idea to jump start his state's economy. What if we allowed people to predict the outcome of future sporting events—then gave them money when they were correct?!
Rumor has it that Governor Jack Markell will introduce a bill next week that would legalize sports gambling in Delaware, with the hope that it will take effect before the next football season begins. (Only parlay bets would be allowed, for reasons I don't understand, but whatever.) It has been over 30 years since sports wagering has been legal east of the Mississippi, so if this passed it would allow millions of Americans the opportunity to finally learn what it's like to have your life's savings riding on a field goal kicker. This is pretty exciting, because obviously no one east of the Mississippi has bet on sports, ever.
Several years ago, The New Republic published a vicious anti-Delaware screed, proclaiming that this tiny speck of a state only exists to fleece other Americans out of their hard-earned money. (There's a reason why your credit card company is probably incorporated there.) As anyone who has driven on the I-95 toll road could tell you, this is very true. The state loves to take cash from out-of-state visitors—while people who live there pay no sales tax—so an organized gambling ring is right up their alley.
And on behalf of the rest of the East Coast, I say ... thank you, Delaware! Put me down for two grand on any team nicknamed the Wildcats!
Delaware to Take a Bet on Sports Gambling?> [NBC Philadelphia]
Delaware Governor Jack Markell is ready to legalize sports betting in his state [ESPN The Mag]
Rogue State: The Case Against Delaware [TNR]