March Madness and November Nuttiness II
Posted by PintofStout on March 6, 2007
As the NCAA basketball tournaments rev up, the bookie in many offices around the world are printing out their rules, brackets, and maybe odds and collecting money before the events kick off. Of course, this is all technically illegal. Shame on them. How dare they voluntarily take the money of someone voluntarily giving it to them along with their educated (some more than others) guess about how the ordeal will pan out in hopes of being the most correct and thus enriched in the process? Using skill and knowledge in conjunction with games of chance where the odds of winning are such that scientific notation isn’t employed is apparently immoral and illegal; whereas betting in games of complete chance with astronomical odds, while insane, is completely legal (and run by the state for the benefit of the state, of course). Some legisaviors would have the gullible believe that the distinction is for our protection. Gambling, regardless of how small, from the Saturday poker game in someone’s basement to the office pool on a football game is illegal because the gullible could be defrauded and have their money taken from them, because the state can’t regulate them…for our protection. Or maybe they can’t get their cut.
Gambling outlets that run inside the law are usually run by the law. The lotteries are state run or at least state-sanctioned due to obscene tax rates and above-board payoffs. When a state decides to allow gambling other than lotteries, usually tip-toeing into the game with just slot machines, a large amount of profits are paid to the state for the privilege of being allowed to run a casino. Pennsylvania recently did just this, and as reported by the NPR station in Pittsburgh, the state takes a full 55% of profit. That makes them a majority partner as well as the mafia-style “protection” from competition. So even when the casinos have a private face that has to pay great homage to the godfather state, the casinos are essentially run by and for the state. What a racket!
Gambling and what makes it legal and illegal, like our punitive criminal justice system (a blog about this is upcoming), is more about kissing the ring of the master than protection or justice. On top of it all, we endure the patronizing and parading of the same jerkbags and would-be jerkbags in various Novembers and then complain about the results until we get a chance to give ourselves something new to complain about in another November. Now that is Nutty!
As a side note, I linked to a few prior blog entries in this post and would like to take the time to remind all the reader that there are jewels in the archives to be explored and enjoyed.