The NHL is coming to Las Vegas because America is now a casino nation – The Washington Post

I got the opportunity to write a piece about how the NHL’s announcement it is coming to Las Vegas fits in with the history of gambling for the Washington Post. Here is a small sample:

In that atmosphere, professional sports — whose legitimacy has at times been tainted by gambling-related scandals from the infamous 1919 Black Sox to college-basketball point shaving — were right to distance themselves from gambling. It was mostly illegal and, even where it was allowed, was not well-regarded by the rest of the country. With the United States nearly unanimous against gambling, legal or otherwise, this was a no-brainer.

Source: The NHL is coming to Las Vegas because America is now a casino nation – The Washington Post

Obviously this is a little different from my usual writing for Vegas Seven–it gave me the chance to address a different audience. My gratitude goes to the editors at the Post, and of course, my editors at Seven who give me the chance to write about such a range of topics.

Betting on nothing

NHL owners have locked out their players, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get action down on hockey this season. From the Edmonton Journal:


An Antigua-based sports-betting firm has become the first to put odds on the outcome of the National Hockey League lockout, and how it could affect a season scheduled to open Oct. 13.

If you’re a betting person, it doesn’t look good.

Odds are 1-3 — meaning you must bet $3 to get a $1 return — the entire 2004-05 season will be wiped out by a labour dispute in which owners seek a salary cap and players are resisting it. Wageronsports.com puts odds the season will start at some point before the regular season concludes on April 10, 2005, at 2-1.

While big-time bettors could stand to cash in on the lockout, provincial governments — the benefactors of Canadian gambling largesse — stand to lose significant amounts of cash should play not begin this season.

NHL wagering makes up just over one third of total sales, and brings in an

$8-million annual profit, for the Western Canada Lottery Corporation, which serves the three Prairie provinces and three territories.

To offset the anticipated loss in revenue, the lottery corporation is introducing a number of other sports and leagues for sports fans to bet on, including U.S. college football and basketball and European soccer

Winter of discontent? You can bet on it.

Now, if a baseball player bet on the hockey lockout, would that be considered a violation? It’s not exactly a sporting event. This sounds like just the thing Pete Rose would wager on.

It’s interesting to learn that a management/player dispute over a salary cap in hockey can drastically impact lotteries in Canada.