Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Legal Sports Betting Brings Out Some Serious Hot Takes

Legal sports betting is upon us, as the Supreme Court says (this is not high-level legal analysis, I just bet horses) the old laws were bad, and because they were bad, they are kind of moot now.

The reaction to this has been, well, pretty interesting.

The first reaction, and we've seen this before, was "OMG everyone is going to be rich!".

We all get that the underground gambling economy is murky, but everyone - the feds, state governments, casino companies - is a lot of people splitting up a pie that no one knows the size of.

As Crunk's tweetstorm points out, the only thing that's assured is these revenue calculations are going to be incorrect. It's not a question of if, it's only a question of by how much.

The second reaction is from some in the sport of racing. There's a giddiness (and this could come from reaction one) that from all this money (OMG!) a bunch of it will filter back into horse racing purses. I get that ADW's might hop aboard, racetracks will offer some sports bets, but a windfall?

The only windfall racing will receive is if a friendly politico says, "10% of profits will go to racing", like they did with slot machines. And that's a Rick's Natural Star long shot.

Dinkin on the Twitter
My favorite take, though, is from over the top economics professors, like this fella this morning. There's a lot of chew on (masking IP addresses! Taking over a person's computer and using his betting account to launder money! OMG!), but it's good to know that all of my friends who gamble are dregs of humanity.
  • "It is an unproductive use of people's time even though some people will be making money at it. We don't want to convert America to a people diverting productive time into nonproductive time studying sports in order to gamble on it. It's utterly wasteful."
When a law changes, or something new is allowed or introduced, the mercurial reactions come. It's almost as if the hottest take gets ink, and the most sensible doesn't; so sell clicks and stuff. Sports betting is no exception.

After the dust settles and things move forward, I suspect we'll see what we always tend to see, whether it be betting on horses, or sports; DFS or something else like it. The world won't drastically change for most. It's just another avenue to, if you're so inclined, place a little bit of your disposable income.

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