Finally, Sports Gambling is Legal in the Mid-Atlantic

Kind of.  Our friends at Baltimore Beatdown, a top notch Ravens blog, give us the low down:

WHO:  Ravens President Dick Cass and Maryland Lottery Director Stephen Martino
WHAT:  New Ravens Cash Fantasy ticket to be unveiled
WHERE:  Ravens Training Camp at McDaniel College
WHEN:  Monday, August 9, 2010 (Approximately 10:45 AM)
Immediately following Head Coach John Harbaugh’s media presser
WHY:  The Ravens Cash Fantasy ticket, one of the fastest-selling $5 scratch-offs in Maryland Lottery history, will be unveiled by Cass and Martino. The ticket reflects a partnership with the National Football League, Baltimore Ravens and Maryland Lottery.

Wait, I can give a guy $5 at 7-11, scratch off some weird silver junk on a purple ticket, see what numbers come up, then feel the thrill of victory or the agony of defeat.  But I can’t give some guy $5, sit on my couch watching a football game, see what numbers come up on the scoreboard, then feel the thrill of victory or agony of defeat.

Am I missing something here?  The only difference is that the scratch tickets are state sponsored enterprises.  Apparently doing something “bad” is ok so long as it adds dollars to state coffers.  The mustache of liberty, John Stossel, says give me a break and I agree.  MOL, take it away:

Despicably, while government outlaws private gambling (at least that which competes with the well-connected casino interests), it runs its own gambling operations: state lotteries. And what a scam they are! States offer terrible odds. The evil casinos take about 1.4 percent of each bet at the craps table. State lotteries take 50 percent of each bet. Compounding the damage, states spend tax money to promote their lotteries to the poor, who are led to believe that the lottery, rather than hard work, is the route to becoming millionaires. Rich people buy few tickets.

So governments push their own inferior games while outlawing better ones run by private business. That’s insane. People gamble anyway, criminals get involved, and by forcing Internet gambling offshore, America loses a $12 billion industry.

In On Liberty, John Stuart Mill wrote, “Over himself and over his own body and mind, the individual is sovereign.”

That would be nice, wouldn’t it?

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