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Tuesday, May 15, 2018

How gambling can help make baseball America’s pastime again

Because Americans – well, Americans may well love to gamble as much as anyone, and that the country needed a multi-billion-dollar underground economy to swell for decades felt particularly un-American. Monday’s Supreme Court ruling that took away Nevada’s monopoly on legal sports gambling served as the first step to this brand-new world where our sports gambling options will be as plentiful as our minds allow.

Want to bet on whether a pitch will be a ball or strike? It’s coming.

Care to wager on the exit velocity of a batted ball? Some state will make it happen.

Need that 7-1 game between two teams 30 games under .500 on Sept. 1 to matter? In this new world, where a $50 billion economy is set to blossom, every pitch, every swing, every moment that seemed meaningless otherwise matters.

Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: May 15, 2018 at 03:11 PM | 114 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: dollah dollah bills, y'all, make america gamble again, pete rose was here first, sports gambling

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   101. Tulo's Fishy Mullet (mrams) Posted: May 20, 2018 at 12:52 PM (#5675971)
The lottery is exactly why pay at the pump is one of the greatest technological developments of the past 40 years.
   102. Hysterical & Useless Posted: May 20, 2018 at 03:20 PM (#5675997)
What is the difference between entertainment and 'actual entertainment'?

Well, David, obviously the difference is between "things I don't enjoy" and "things I DO enjoy." :-)

Yes, I was just being obnoxious. Sorry. I'll go sit in the corner now.
   103. Greg Pope Posted: May 20, 2018 at 10:53 PM (#5676204)
He didn't need to. He just refused to take their action until they'd settled up, and he put out the word to other bookies he knew.

Forgive my ignorance. How do people not pay a bookie? They don't require you to give them the money to make a bet?
   104. Howie Menckel Posted: May 20, 2018 at 11:33 PM (#5676213)
one of the reasons that bookies will continue to thrive is that unlike legal ventures, you can bet on credit (though I wouldn't recommend it - for obvious reasons)

another key is that pesky tax thing
   105. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: May 21, 2018 at 06:22 AM (#5676255)
He didn't need to. He just refused to take their action until they'd settled up, and he put out the word to other bookies he knew.

Forgive my ignorance. How do people not pay a bookie? They don't require you to give them the money to make a bet?

Not in my experience. But to place a bet, you had to be introduced to the bookie by a mutual friend who would vouch for you. He'd wouldn't take a bet from an unknown stranger, and in fact if he didn't know you and you approached him about placing a bet, he'd most likely say you were mistaking him for someone else.

Doesn't mean that bookies never got stiffed, but it did limit the frequency.


another key is that pesky tax thing

Yeah, that too. I never heard of a bookie who took credit cards, and cash was always preferred.
   106. Fancy Crazy Town Banana Pants Handle Posted: May 21, 2018 at 07:59 AM (#5676271)
Forgive my ignorance. How do people not pay a bookie? They don't require you to give them the money to make a bet?

A lot of the time, they are taking bets over the phone, and not in person. Which makes paying upfront a pain. Plus they generally don't want to have a ton of cash on them all of the time, because there is risk to that. So they try and minimize the number of pay-ins and pay-outs.
   107. Lassus Posted: May 21, 2018 at 08:30 AM (#5676276)
But don't ever fool yourself into thinking you're making a mathematically smart play.

Was this assertion made somewhere in the thread?
   108. McCoy Posted: May 21, 2018 at 09:43 AM (#5676308)
Yeah, bookies I knew didn't take cash up front. It generally worked out as pay in on Thursday, pay out on Friday, take bets on Sunday/Monday, rinse and repeat. And as mentioned earlier you had to either know the bookie or know a guy who knew a bookie which could lead to some interesting dilemmas. Like was your friend just pocketing your losses and not making any bets for you or was he actually calling them in. In my younger days I was pretty foolish with my betting strategies. I would usually look in depth at the early games and pick out the one I liked the most. Would generally put a couple hundred dollars on it and I won at about 70% rate but after the win I have no cash in my pocket and thinking, hey, it's just 200 dollars. What's that so I would pick the late game but I wouldn't do a ton of research so I never won a late game in my life. Which finally led to one disastrous Sunday where I lost the early game, decided to double up on the late game, lost that one, and decided to try again on the Sunday game only to lose that one as well. At that point I was down something like 1300 dollars and my friends were telling me to just try again on Monday night but at that point I said forget it. Paid the bookie and walked away from gambling on sports for something like 5 or 7 years.

I almost got back into sports betting for the 2006 Super Bowl with the Steelers vs the Seahawks. At the time I thought absolutely sure that they would do the over for that game. It was at 47 or so and Seattle had the best offense in the NFC and the Steelers had a good a good offense as well, both had pretty good defenses. Pittsburgh was putting up at least 21 points in each playoff game it played and the Seahawks put up 34 points in the championship against a pretty good Panther defense. I thought the score could easily by 28-21 or better. So I told my bartender friend who knew a bookie to put $5000 down for me on the over. It was going to see him later in the week and was going to be on vacation so there was going to be some uncertainty as to whether the bet was down or not. I told him if I don't get confirmation I'm not going to view the bet as on. So I don't hear anything from him and the game starts and gets off to a slow start. By halftime I'm thinking I'm not going to win the bet and I've got this pit in my stomach because I have no real idea if the bet is in. The Steelers end up doing their part by eventually scoring 21 points but the Seahawks shvt the bed. I end up seeing him at work and he's got a sheepish grin on his face and tells me he never put the bet in. He said he was never so relieved in his life when the result was an under because it was going to be a horrible situation if the over happened. I recall all during the lead up to the game on Sunday and during it all the ways I could get doublecrossed. After that I was out of betting on games and betting with bookies. 10 years or so later I put a bet down on a couple of baseball games in Vegas and won them both but outside of that nothing.
   109. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: May 21, 2018 at 06:47 PM (#5676813)
But with it now legalized and taxed (directly or indirectly through the corporate income tax on gambling operations), the people who are smart enough to avoid it will wind up being subsidized by dumb gamblers.

Which seems to me to be a bit crazy. The whole industry is based on scamming the customers with the least self-control and/or the least understanding of the odds.

If the entertainment value of sports gambling (or any form of gambling) is enough for be of value to legalize, then why not open government-funded casinos mandated to have every bet/game pay off with zero house edge. Go there, gamble for a week, and your expected losses are zero. You could fund overhead expenses by a) taxes, b) a flat door fee, c) some other combination, offset by food/beverage/hotel revenue. So the gambling addicts might waste time there but they won't lose their shirts (absent terrible luck, but the more they played, the more the closer their average losses would get to zero).
   110. Greg Pope Posted: May 21, 2018 at 08:42 PM (#5676889)
Thanks, guys. I knew that a bookie wouldn't be putting out betting slips like a casino, but I figured you had to give them the money. Very interesting.
   111. AuntBea calls himself Sky Panther Posted: May 22, 2018 at 12:13 AM (#5677072)
But with it now legalized and taxed (directly or indirectly through the corporate income tax on gambling operations), the people who are smart enough to avoid it will wind up being subsidized by dumb gamblers.
Viewed this way, it's mostly an inefficient form of regressive taxation (those in lower brackets spend a higher portion of their income gambling on average). Since we live in a redistributive society, to the extent the excess money taken from the lower brackets has to be replaced, it has to come back out of everyone else's pockets one way or another. The net result is its unlikely to be good for anyone, even the non-gamblers, except those directly making (or skimming) the profits--i.e. the casinos (or whoever runs the house these days) and the companies hired by government to run government-sponsored games.
   112. Howie Menckel Posted: May 22, 2018 at 12:22 AM (#5677076)
well, the lottery is a tax on people who are bad at math

this is similar, but at least the buyer might last 3 hours before losing instead of 3 seconds (or 3 days, with no sense of their chances of winning)

more like horse racing, where if you go out in a crowd of 6 and 1 hits an exacta and the others lose about as much. but the celebration for the big winner can make the whole crowd feel as if it added to all of their good evening

logical, maybe not. but a good night out feels like a good night out as they all go to sleep
   113. cercopithecus aethiops Posted: May 22, 2018 at 07:58 AM (#5677109)
What is the difference between entertainment and 'actual entertainment'?

   114. Greg K Posted: May 22, 2018 at 10:03 AM (#5677145)
well, the lottery is a tax on people who are bad at math

The lottery also has quite a long history as a way to raise revenue for the state. It's sort of win-win for both sides. The state gets the money they need, and the subject has a shot at getting something back. Much preferable to having state officials just take your property.

Of course, having lotteries and income tax kind of ruins it.
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