I had this bookie named Max. He looked, acted and talked like a bookie in the movies. His voice was gravely, his eyes were shifty and he was always looking over his shoulder when he gave me my “parlay” card or took my money. It was the ‘60s. A $2 bet then is the same as $15.97. Yeah…$2 has now become $16.
It was a factory of 600 plus workers and Max would use his Monday breaks and lunch time to run around paying the winners. On Wednesday or Thursday the new parlay cards would be delivered. There were ten college football games and you could pick a minimum of three winners. If you got all ten right you collected 10X your bet.
The college season was ten games back then. I may have placed my $2 bet four or five times during two seasons. That was my only use of a bookie.
In Vegas I’ll put down some money in the Sports Book of whatever casino I’m in. That’s happened a few dozen times over the last thirty years. Gambling and me aren’t a thing. No, not even the state Lotto is interesting.
Now comes the ultimate new gambling adventure. Fantasy Sports! I don’t think so.
For the past three decades, non-betting fantasy teams have been evolving and growing. No it is the fastest growing GAMBLING adventure ever conceived in our country.
The moderators tried to bring up this subject at the last Republican debate. Did you see how fast they turned it into a joke? Bush joked about his undefeated team and Christy acted like it was terrible to be talking about it. Really?
Most people don’t realize that fantasy sports was a “loophole” in an online gambling bill passed and signed by “W” in 2006. Online/offshore gambling had grown tremendously and Sheldon Adelson and his cronies didn’t like seeing their money going off shore.
So, in a hurry to adjourn for the 2006 elections, the House leadership attached a gambling bill to legislation aimed at making our ports safer.
Yes, I’ll wait while you read that line again.
A few representative hollered about it because Republican House Leadership refused to allow any amendments to the ports safety measure. But they did allow the gambling bill. Bush signed it into law on Friday the 13th. It might have been bad luck for the internet gamblers, but the bill had embedded language that exempted wagering on fantasy sports. There were five States that already considered it illegal and their laws prevailed (Washington, Louisiana, Arizona, Montana and Iowa). Nevada just banned in the last few weeks.
Looking into the background of the lobbyists and who wrote this “loophole” is surprising to find that the National Football League played the most crucial role in securing the bill’s passage. That’s another sentence you need to re-read.
That’s right…the league has long-held opposition to sports betting, but they realized that this would create even larger TV audiences.
SO…guess who started DRAFT KINGS? They are one of the big two, the other being FanDuel. DraftKings is run by poker players and gamblers, most of who were heavily involved with the internet gambling thing.
Now DraftKings has hooked up with the World Series of Poker and enticing their fantasy betters to win a table at the big show in Vegas. Also DraftKings is now doing fantasy sports contests in the Hooters’ restaurants.
In knowing there was billions to be made, DraftKings became television’s No.1 advertiser when it showed a commercial every minute and a half in the week leading to the NFL season.
So that is why the Republican debaters turned a simple important questions into a big audience applause when Chris Christy said “How dare you talk about fantasy football when Isis is wanting to attack us.” They really don’t want to talk about their loophole.
Last May, Bryce Mauro, a junior at DePauw University in Indiana sat in his fraternity house and bet $12,000 on a fantasy baseball game and planned to bet another $24,000 later in the day. Young Mr. Mauro said, “I usually play between 450 and 500 different games a day. Over the past two years he won several hundred thousand dollars.