Interesting editorial piece about the hypocrisy of the major US sports leagues when it comes to gambling from the KC Star:
Late last week, the four major professional sports leagues NBA, MLB, NFL and the NHL, along with the NCAA, filed a complaint against the state of Delaware in federal court in Wilmington, seeking to stop the state from offering single-game betting on pro and college games.
The leagues and the NCAA assert that the state's recently-announced decision to offer single-game betting as part of the 2009 Delaware Sports Lottery violates federal law.
To the rest of the world, Delaware is known as one of the 13 original states to participate in the American Revolution and the first to ratify the Constitution of the United States. To those of us who live within driving distance, it's the home of tax-free shopping.
In corporate America, despite its diminutive size, the state is a true heavyweight, loved for its friendly laws designed to lure big business. In fact, if you look closely you will often see the term “A Delaware Corporation” next to the names of many large companies. Over 50 percent of US publicly traded corporations, and 60 percent of the Fortune 500 companies, are incorporated in Delaware.
To be blunt, most major corporations love Delaware and its tax policy, save for David Stern's monopoly and his compatriots, who have always remained more than hypocritical on the betting issue.
The daily point spreads you see in your local newspaper are an obvious deference to games of chance, but the NBA and its cohorts have always had plausible deniability in that aspect since the spreads are compiled by various Las Vegas casinos and sportsbooks, not the leagues themselves.
Of course, daily press releases announcing injuries are clearly designed to even the playing field for the gamblers who fuel the popularity of all the various sports.
This is a point that I’ve made before. If the leagues really wanted to slow down action on their games, they could do a few easy things, like discontinuing pre-game injury reports or even denying press credentials to media outlets that publish point spreads.
It’s also strange that many casinos are high-profile advertisers in stadiums and arenas in the US and Canada, but the leagues that play in those arenas insist that legal sports betting in those casinos would ruin the integrity of the sport. The numerous point-shaving scandals of the past sixty years have all been connected to illegal gambling; many of them happened before Las Vegas had a sizable sports betting industry.
Professional and amateur leagues in other countries seem to be doing a better job of dealing with sports betting.