USA Today

Wanna Gamble? OK, Let's Gamble!

Damon Bruce
April 10, 2017 - 5:37 pm

Gambling was supposed to be the monster in the closet, “The Boogie Man” who would keep professional sports from ever settling down in the dust of Las Vegas. Three-quarters-of-a-billion-dollars later, that monster wasn’t so scary to the NFL when it reversed it’s longtime stance on Sin City with a near unanimous owners YES vote to do business on the strip.  So, since we’re doing this … okay … lets do this.

I want in-game betting. Not from the sports book, but from my seat at the stadium. Next pass gonna be complete? Let me wager! Three and out? Let me bet on that! Instead of walking the concourse at halftime for a beer, let me put a little action down on the halftime line. If local fair means serving deep dish at Bears games, cheesesteaks at Eagles games, and BBQ at Chiefs games, why not serve gambling in Las Vegas? It’s the vice the entire town was built on, and since you’ve chosen to go there, you don’t get to look down on it anymore. 

Ya don’t move to Phoenix and reject the heat, ya don’t move to Cleveland and get away with pretending winter isn’t happening. Gambling is Las Vegas. And guess what NFL, you are too! You now have to be totally cool with it, or risk us thinking you’re a hypocrite. The NFL and gambling are not just roommates, they’re lovers.  There has always been an odd relationship between sports and gambling, and now the blurred line has been identified, and crossed. No looking back.

Not long ago, I was convinced, the NFL loved controversy more than conclusion on any topic, no matter how taboo. The effort to stay in the headlines becomes effortless with every scandal. And guess what, a gambling scandal will come. It comes with the turf they’ve chosen. It will be the story of the year. We’ll click and retweet it till our fingers bleed. And in the name of “all publicity is good publicity” the NFL will win that day too. Who’s not watching the week after a gambling story explodes? Just to see if we see anything fishy? You can bet on it.

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