Citing the troubling outlook of the American economy, New Jersey is once again looking to legalize sports gambling. If you ask me, I say the time is now!
With the economy crumbling, states are now looking to find other viable sources of revenue to fund worthy programs, so why not sports gaming? The Garden State seems to think that legalizing and regulating sports gambling is the golden road leading to increased tax revenue. How much? According to a study conducted by Price Waterhouse Coopers, if the ban on online gambling was lifted and all 50 states agreed, try to the tune of $42.8 billion overall revenue if all online gambling was legalized! $9 billion of that total amount would be generated by sports gambling alone. In these troubled economic times, what state in our union wouldn’t welcome even a portion of that revenue?
The resolution sponsored by NJ Senators Raymond J. Lesniak and Jeff Van Drew was unanimously passed by New Jersey’s Senate Wagering, Tourism and Historic Preservation Committee earlier this month. The resolution will urge the US Congress to lift the federal ban on sports gambling.
We enter week 16 of the 2008 NFL season with four teams having clinched their division including the Tennessee Titans (12-2), New York Giants (11-3), Pittsburgh Steelers (11-3) and the Arizona Cardinals (at just 8-6). Another division leader, Denver is very close to clinching their division and they are also just 8-6 on the year. Meanwhile, there’s a very good likelihood that the Patriots will miss the playoffs, despite potentially finishing 11-5. Only once before has an 11-5 team missed the playoffs, and that was back when there was only one Wild-Card team.
Knowing that two 8-6 teams, with potential 8-8 finishes on the horizon, will make the playoffs, while teams with much better records will be watching from home, makes me wonder. How much is luck a factor in the NFL? What are the implications? It turns out that luck actually plays a very big role. Just ask any sports bettor who loses a big bet thanks to the bounce of a ball, or a field goal hitting an upright. Given that NFL coaches and players will lose their jobs (or lock in contract extensions), based on the results of the season, why isn’t luck talked about more?