More Political Games Over Sports Betting and Gambling
I think it is safe to say that Louisiana has a bit of an identity crisis. We love the money that casinos, race tracks, video poker dens and truck stops pump into our economy, but for some reason, we're against giving them additional tools to help them maintain or expand their base. Well, that's not entirely true either. We're willing to give them what they don't want, but not what they need. Let me explain.
There are two separate gaming bills working their way through the legislature. One deals with straight up sports betting, i.e. making it legal to wager on the NFL, MLB, etc.. The other deals with online fantasy sports. This is where it gets a bit complicated, so stay with me.
On one hand, certain members of the legislature are pushing for an amendment on Fantasy sports that would not allow individuals to game from home, they are attempting to add measures where gamers would have to go to a casino or truck stops to place wagers from licensed machines. Which isn't what 47 parishes voted for...but that's another issue for another time. But, that's what's being proposed because the state wouldn't be getting enough money if we just let people play from home...which is what the general population voted for.
Now, on the other hand, the legislature is doing is damndest to kill sports betting. One of the original provisions of that bill would have allowed video poker dens, truck stops, etc. to become licensed sports books. But, that was removed from the legislation because those pushing for sports betting thought it would get the bill as a whole killed. Do you see the irony in that? I know I sure do.
Now, on top of that, despite the fact the bill passed through the Senate as a whole and the House Judiciary Committee (why it was there, I have no idea), now there is a push to send the bill to the House Budget Committee. Those in favor of Sports Betting are afraid that if it goes to the House Budget Committee, it will be killed by the staunch anti-gambling contingency there.
Am I the only one that finds all this crazy? On one hand we done want sports betting in some places because it expands gambling. On the other hand, we're trying to force a bill that does just that (no one in the general populace wants it!).
Personally, I don't care if it passes or not. If I want to bet on the Saints, I'm going to do it one way or another. But all this grand standing and contradictory non-sense is getting old. At this point, I wish we would just outlaw gambling again...because all the politics involved with it is giving me an ulcer.