Cigars, Booze, Money: How a Lobbying Blitz Made Sports Betting Ubiquitous

From a New York Times story by Eric Lipton and Kenneth P. Vogel headlined “Cigars, Booze, Money: How a Lobbying Blitz Made Sports Betting Ubiquitous”:

Representative John Barker, a cattle breeder, retired judge and chairman of one of the most powerful committees in the Kansas legislature, had a glass of 30-year Redbreast Irish whiskey in his hand and a Don Tomas cigar from Honduras in his mouth.

Both had been passed to him as he entered a party a few blocks from the State Capitol. It was co-sponsored by lobbyists who had recently turned to Mr. Barker for help legalizing sports betting in Kansas.

As Sports Betting Goes Mainstream, Addiction Experts Are on High Alert

From a Washington Post story by Eric Adelson headlined “As sports betting goes mainstream, addiction experts are on high alert”:

If boxing icon Floyd Mayweather ever fights again, maybe Jeff Umali will place a bet. And maybe when a huge sporting event rolls around, like the Super Bowl, the 39-year-old will wager a few bucks.

But that’s it.

“I’ve learned my lesson,” he said.

Umali’s lesson came a few years ago, when he started placing a daily bet on an online poker game. It seemed like a relatively harmless pastime — for a short while.

The Rising Human Cost of Sports Betting

From a New York Times story by Kurt Streeter headlined “The Rising Human Cost of Sports Betting”:

We’re heading toward the Super Bowl, a time of joy and anticipation for most sports fans. But not for all. Certainly not for Steven Delaney. He has no plans to watch the big game. Watching sports of any kind could suck him back in.

“I stay away from it all,” Delaney, 37, a truck driver from Ballston Spa, N.Y., said. “I don’t talk about sports. I don’t read about sports. I don’t want to know about the teams in the Super Bowl. It’s a risk that I am not ready to take.”

The Politics of a Booming U.S. Industry: Sports Gambling

From a Washington Post story by Olivier Knox headlined “Biden could step into debate on booming sports gambling”:

It’s not the standoff with Russia over Ukraine, the stubbornly high covid death toll or North Korea’s latest missile tests. But a little story out of Arizona last week caught my eye and made me ponder the uncertain politics of a booming U.S. industry: sports gambling, notably online.

President Biden could play a significant role in shaping its future, with potentially wide-ranging repercussions for the dozens of states that have embraced the practice — some to make up pandemic-era tax shortfalls — and others turning to it to lift public finances in the future.