The arguments in favor of sportsbetting ring hollow to this writer. You hear “it would be a source of new jobs”. Right. Lower end service jobs and who do you know that wants to become a sportsbetting dealer someday? Shouldn’t job creation be aimed at jobs that actually create a product or provide a needed service? Then there is “competition from Maryland’s new slots will cause loss of jobs and tax revenue”. That hasn’t happened yet so what is the hurry? “It would be a source of new tax revenue for the state”. But at who’s expense? If not you then your friend, relative or neighbor will pay dearly. You hear “only a few people get addicted”. These are the few that after they have lost it all are finally willing to admit that they in fact have a gambling problem. “We will help rehab the people that become addicted”. Great! That means more rehabs and more jobs for Delaware, huh? “Sportsbetting will keep your taxes down”. We heard that about the slots but did our taxes stay down? “Players are going to bet anyway so the state might as well get its cut”. Should we legalize drugs and prostitution too? It seems people are also going to do those things anyway and think of all the jobs that would be created and the tax revenue we are missing out on compared to Nevada where prostitution is legal! “Sportsbetting is a much more accountable form of gambling”. So let’s just ignore the existence of anyone like Pete Rose and Tim Donaghy (the basketball referee convicted of fixing professional games). Even the NFL and NBA are against sportsbetting. “If you don’t like it, don’t participate”. Yes, but our loved ones will participate and we will suffer along with them. “There won’t be any new players other than those that are doing it illegally now”. This was said of the lottery and slots yet we have seen people who would have never dreamed of gambling get sucked into it due to it becoming legitimized by the state. Industries that are illegal suddenly become legitimate when the state becomes the sponsor.
Sportsbetting targets people that have been content with playing the office pool or making small bets with their friends. Large betters go out of state to a seedy side of life we do not need in Delaware. Sportsbetting will give innocent people the opportunity to chase higher and higher bets thinking they can outsmart the odds. These people have families, mortgages, rents, bills, and taxes to pay and their own future to dream about. I have personally seen gambling cause acquaintances to lose their families, jobs, homes, cars, reputations and even their lives thru suicide. Do we really need to put sportsbetting on top of the existing gambling, alcoholism, drug addiction, pornography, perversion, gluttony, and laziness that already engulfs our society?
Our state needs to look at ways to spend less money and lower our taxes, not look for ways to take more money from us and our neighbors. Toll roads, transfer taxes, hotel-motel taxes, slots and horse tracks have not satisfied our coffers. What makes anyone think sportsbetting will? The sad thing is that this might pass because not enough of you who are reading this and agreeing with me will do anything about it. The majority of the group we have elected will shove this on through unless they hear from you. Please write, email, and call Governor Markell, your legislator, newspapers and talk radio stations to stop this insanity. Nothing is politically correct if it is morally wrong.
Georgetown, DE 19947