Legal sports betting discussed - Bill O'Reilly vs John Stossle

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On last night's broadcast of The O'Reilly Factor on Fox News, host Bill O'Reilly discussed the topic of legalized sports betting with guest John Stossle, a Fox News business anchor. You can watch the debate below. | SBRforum reader comments



John Stossle's belief is a popular one. He believes all adult, American citizens should be free to make their own decision on whether or not to gamble. Bill O'Reilly plays devils advocate throughout the discussion, but finally concedes that there may be middle ground on the issue of legalized sports gambling.

Bill O'Reilly:


I think that there is a middle ground here. I think that you can have sports betting, certainly everybody is going to bet on the Super Bowl. I might bet President Obama on a game.

John Stossle:

Which, in Washington, D.C, would be illegal.

Bill O'Reilly:

Thanks for telling me that because if I bet President Obama on a game, (Eric) Holder would probably come in and arrest me right there during the interview.

John Stossle:

A friendly bet between friends is illegal in half the States.

Bill O'Reilly:

I think that if the states got to do it, got to be 21.

The discussion between Bill O'Reilly and John Stossle does not specifically address online sports betting, rather, the idea of states besides Nevada opening their own sportsbook and casinos. Bill O'Reilly acknowledged in the beginning of the segment that the discussion has heated up in political circles due to many states being on the verge of bankruptcy. Revenue generated from gambling could significantly help cash-strapped states.

SBRforum readers have taken interest in the debate between Bill O'Reilly and John Stossle, and sound off below.

SBRforum poster, 'pavyracer':

Gambling should be allowed and it's up to the indvidual to control it. We don't ban beer or guns just because someone may become an alcoholic or a mass murderer. It's all about politics. The consensus in the US is that gambling is good if it is done in physical casinos (not online) for obvious reasons. It stimulates the economy from construction boom and provides jobs for workers in the casino. This is the main reason online gambling is banned in the US. You can't have a foreign nation with very little overhead in Antigua or Curacao operating online gambling in the US and the US taxpayers get no benefit from it.

SBRforum poster, 'chilidog':

US citizens are going to gamble anyway, whether it be through a local or through offshore gaming. Politicians can oppose it all they want, but they are being too shortsighted in neglecting to fully realize the massive revenue potential by allowing citizens to do something that they are already doing. Something is better than nothing, isn't it?

SBR's Bill Dozer:

This is the big difference between legalizing crack which is almost globally illegal and gambling which is legal most places and in some places in the USA. That's pretty much the argument made by the WTO. You can't have it some places and not let foreign counties offer the service.

SBforum poster, 'Statman':

A number of years ago the Ontario provincial government here in Canada introduced under their lottery program a new lottery caled Proline which is essentially sports betting but they botched it up for bettors in that one cannot wager on any single event but rather a minimum of 2 or more events must be played. The 2 team event aka 'parlay' only pays even money whereas most parlays return 2.6 to 1. The NBA even got involved when they were considering a franchise for Toronto in that all NBA games would need to be dropped from this new lottery called Proline. The Ontario Gov't agreed to never have NBA games available thereafter and Toronto was then granted an NBA franchise. So even if the government does get involved in sports betting, it may not end up being the best for the bettor and he'll go elsewhere for better odds or menu offering.

SBRforum poster, 'Bookmaster':

There doesn't need to be much government involvement at all. In Vegas, all the casinos are privately-owned, the government just regulates it through licensing and takes some taxes. I think that model would work across the whole country. And as for the corruption of the integrity of sport argument...if it was legal, it would be watched much more closely. I'm saying it's much easier, today, when gambling is illegal, for me to approach the PG of a team favored by 14 and tell him to see if he can make sure his team only wins by 10. When it's being regulated, that kind of stuff would be MUCH harder to pull off. So really, that argument is a non-starter.

The consensus of SBRforum readers is that adults should be free to gamble if they wish. If you feel strongly about this issue, whether in favor or against the idea of legalized sportsbetting in the United States, register at SBRforum and share your opinion with other sports gambling enthusiasts.

Related News:
On January 12th, 2011, SBR reported that VIP Sports and Matchbook no longer accepted players from Washington State. Though placing a sports bet online does not violate federal law, states are free to pass their own laws against placing bets.

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