I read an article a few days ago that estimates Americans will wager 95 BILLION dollars on college and NFL games this coming season. Of that figure, 93 billion will be bet illegally. Keep in mind, this is only one sport that essentially covers five months out of the year.
In order to try to gain some perspective, that number is 30 billion more than Google’s 2014 revenues.
Now, I enjoy watching football, I attend games and even take part in some friendly and inexpensive football pools. I don’t bet on games and never have. Though it may be entertaining, for me, all forms of gambling is a fool’s game. If it wasn’t Vegas would be dark and the bookies would be selling cars.
There are many hypocrisies related to sports, with gambling being close to the top of the list. The NFL, as an example, realizes that, in large part, their popularity is tied into the money that is being gambled each week. All sports do, which is why they are all trying to find ways to legally grab a piece of that pie. Politicians are no different. Legalized gambling can generate significant revenues for states, which they can then use to____________ ( you can fill in the blank as sarcastically as you wish.)
As for me, I can’t help but wonder how much good we can do in this country with 95 billion dollars. I understand sports is an entertainment and we’re all entitled to spend our entertainment money in any way we like. But 95 billion dollars? That’s a lot of good being spent on self-indulgence, isn’t it?
Whenever I doubt if I’m right in thinking our priorities may be a little distorted, I read an article like this and wonder how we got to a place where, with everything we see going on around us, we can read something like this and not even blink or react.
How much does the sandbox need to be filled before it can no longer hold its own weight? My guess is we’ll find out soon enough.