Frank Depford: US Stop Two Faced Approach to Sports Betting

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Frank Depford of National Public Radio (NPR) is calling out the US for what he says is a "two faced approach to sports betting".

On his Wednesday morning program, Depford questioned the agendas of both US authorities and the National Football League (NFL).

"To me, the United States gets more and more conflicted. People argue whether we're a center-right or center-left country. But suppose there's no center any more, so we're just center-less?

"Nothing illustrates this, our national ambiguity, more than the issue of sports gambling. Granted, in a time of economic distress and war and declining ratings for American Idol, betting on sports is not a pressing concern upon the republic.

"But it is illustrative of our contradictions and, well, our hypocrisy. In this two-fisted land, where "put your money where your mouth is" and "wanna bet" and "put up or shut up" are among the first expressions that real boys learn, we actually remain backward and tormented about gambling.

"The U.S. is, for example, the veritable capital of cyberspace, but we've been found to be in violation of World Trade Organization obligations because we, almost alone among civilized nations, prohibit Internet gambling.

"Or consider the great little state of Delaware, where new legislation would allow sports books to operate - a distinction now owned only by Nevada. The nerve of Delaware - it's caused an absolute conniption fit among sports organizations, especially the National Football League.

"My gracious. Everybody knows the NFL is the most popular game to bet, with billions wagered illegally on point spreads. Why would you be against letting folks bet legally rather than with the mob - especially in these parlous times? Delaware can make more than $50 million a year in taxes from sports books.

"Moreover, it's estimated that the U.S. will give up $52 billion in the next decade if we continue to prohibit betting on the Internet. In sensible recognition thereof, Congressman Barney Frank, one of the few grown-ups in Washington, will soon hold hearings on his bill to bring the United States up to modern speed by legalizing Internet gambling."

You can watch Frank Depford here


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