Sports Law Blog
All things legal relating
to the sports world...
Friday, May 20, 2005
On-line Gambling and Horse Racing

The 130th Running of the Preakness Stakes will occur tomorrow at the Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore, Maryland, and if you are betting, then you already know that Afleet Alex is the 5-2 favorite, while Kentucky Derby winner Giacomo is only the fourth choice at 6-1. And you probably know that this is the first time a Derby winner did not get favorite odds since 2001 (when Monarchos was the slight second choice) .

According to a piece by Norm Frauenheim of the Arizona Republic, about 800 websites are taking bets on the Preakness. Since on-line betting is illegal in many states, those websites are often located abroad, primarily in the Caribbean, Costa Rica, the United Kingdom, and Canada.

So why is on-line gambling illegal in many states, when in those same states, one can go to a racetrack and legally make the same bet? According to an interesting study by Andrea M. Lessani of the UCLA Online Institute for Cyberspace Law and Policy, policy-makers have identified four primary rationales for distinguishing on-line gambling as somehow worse than in-person (or phone) gambling:
(1) the potential for fraud over the Internet;

(2) children's access to gambling sites;

(3) an increase in gambling addictions; and

(4) the need to preserve state revenues generated from legally enforced (and state-run) gambling operations.
But, from my vantage point, a fifth reason appears most salient: racetracks don't like competition from websites, and owners of those racetracks actively lobby legislators to prevent would-be gamblers at racetracks from instead sitting home and making those same bets on-line. And those owners, along with owners of other gambling establishments, have continuously lobbied Congress to pass federal legislation that would outlaw on-line gambling. However, aside from the difficulty of enforcing such legislation, it might also defeat national economic interests: instead of bets being placed with websites owned and operated in the United States, those same dollars instead migrate to foreign websites, presumably owned by foreign parties. And if on-line gambling is indeed a vice, doesn't it make it doubly worse that foreigners are profiting off of Americans?

On the other hand, perhaps on-line gambling is a real social worry, and one that warrants the stigma attached to it being deemed illegal. According to Nielsen/Net Ratings, almost 20 million Americans partake in on-line gambling each month, and do so despite 1) concerns about the legitimacy of foreign websites and, for some, 2) recognition that on-line gambling may be illegal. And not surprisingly, on-line gamblers, like all gamblers, tend to lose more than they gain: According to Christiansen Capital Advisers LLC, American gamblers lost $4.1 billion on-line in 2004, and that number is expected to climb to nearly $6 billion in 2005. But then again, American lost $72.8 billion at legal gambling in 2003, so why should we be more concerned about on-line gamblers when "legal" gamblers are losing much more?

Maybe the real lesson is: Don't gamble, because you're probably going to lose. But that's not much fun.

Relates Posts About On-line Gambling:
Greg, Is Your NCAA Tournament Pool Illegal?
Greg, Feds Going After On-line Gambling


Office pools Play for FREE in our Office Pool, and win FREE weekly prizes.

Anonymous office pools -- 4/07/2006 4:27 PM  

With the trades and acquisitions made going into the draft, plus the bulk of the team that is carried over from last season, and the trades and draft picks made during the draft, it sure seems like the Pats are going to be the team to beat in the AFC this season, and perhaps in all of the NFL.

Considering the Pats were almost in the Superbowl last season with a pathetic receiving corps and that they've added very talented players into said receiving corps this season, barring some nasty injury(ies), they look to be the team to take it all.I say injury(ies) because I think they could survive an injury or two to some positions, but if they lost Brady they'd probably have a hard time recovering.

I wish I could say that the Redskins did well in the draft and/or in free agency but so many holes still exist that I'm not sure they'll be significantly better than last season. I suppose on face they should be if they can keep their corners healthy. With Landry (argh, hard to type that name as a Redskin!!) back there with a healthy secondary they might be able to cheat up more and put more pressure on opposing QBs. Might.

They still have what should be a lot of talent in the receiving positions, and Campbell should be better, but they don't have the quality on either line (offense or defense) that I wish they'd have, so it could be yet another year of .500 at best, or worse.

Still, the NFC East looks to be the NFC Least again this season. None of the teams there look like they'll be that good, and none really look ready to step up and take the division.

Great super bowl xlll odds, Sports Betting Information, NFL Odds, Football Betting,
sportsbet, sports betting lines, vegas sports betting. Visit us for more info at:

Anonymous Anonymous -- 10/12/2007 4:23 PM  

The Preakness is the second and shortest leg in American thoroughbred racing's Triple Crown and almost always attracts the Kentucky Derby winner, some of the other horses that ran in the Derby, sportsbook, and often a few horses that did not start in the Derby. (The phrase "Triple Crown" was not applied to this series of races until the 1930s.) It is followed by the third leg, the Belmont Stakes.

Blogger Diana -- 12/10/2007 4:12 PM  

When betting on sporting events I always think those massive outsiders are worth a cheeky punt. For example man utd sticking six past Newcastle or Andy Murray going out that early on. When im browsing through some online sports betting websites i have a look at the specials and outsiders and see if i can see them happen. If so i may have a punt.
Normally ill have a bet on football because generally you can have an idea of a result or back a few outsiders and get some big odds!

Anonymous Anonymous -- 1/22/2008 7:50 AM  

Post a Comment