Sports League Built On Backs Of Gamblers Makes Token Effort To Stop Sports Gambling in Delaware

So it appears the Delaware sports betting bill will be signed into law later this week. And, on cue, the NFL is making a big production of being outraged.

It should go without saying that, had it not been for the invention of the betting line, the NFL would occupy a place in the American consciousness roughly equivalent to that of Frisbee. Nevertheless, the league has filed a legal brief with the state supreme court, arguing that gambling threatens the integrity of the game, and that skill plays "an impermissible role" in sports betting, both of which no one but Roger Goodell pretends to believe anymore.

Hell, way back in 1977, a Delaware federal judge dismissed both arguments in upholding a short-lived state football lottery (essentially a parlay) called "Touchdown," delivering perhaps the only legal opinion to draw on the work of noted geneticist Jimmy "The Greek" Snyder. Wrote Judge Walter K. Stapleton:

The record shows that extensive gambling on NFL games has existed for many years and that this fact of common public knowledge has not injured plaintiffs or their reputation.

...

"Jimmy the Greek" is a widely recognized oddsmaker, syndicated columnist and television personality who earns his living in part by predicting the outcome of NFL games. The record shows that, although he correctly predicted the winner of 101 out of 126 NFL games from September 12 through November 8, if he had bet on both pools of games in Football Bonus each week, he would have won only three times. He would never have won the All-Game Bonus awarded to those who correctly choose the winners of all fourteen games in a single week. We cannot determine how he would have fared in Touchdown because we do not know which three, four or five games he would have placed wagers on each week. However, he successfully predicted the point spread in only 38 out of 126 games in nine weeks. This strongly suggests that expertise would not have carried the day in this game either.

That's my lock of the week!

The NCAA has also gotten in on the action, threatening to block Delaware schools from hosting bowl games. This is of real concern to precisely no one.

Senate OKs sports bets, table games
[The News Journal]