The Supreme Court says states can legalize sports betting, so gamblers don't have to hide their dirty secret anymore.
1. I decided during my college years that I wanted to start betting on sports. I asked people around the campus how it could be done. I was told by a couple of people, “Find the big kid named Chris.” I found the big kid named Chris, who led me to a bookie, where I’d call in my bets under the name “Michelob 21.” (Years later, I’d be the best man at Chris’s wedding and referenced this story in my best man speech.)
From there, the charm of meeting the bookie every few weeks to pay up got old and this Internet thing was exploding and I discovered a site called Pinnacle.com. That was a life changer. No longer did I only have a one-hour window to place wagers. I was able to bet 24/7. And I could bet first-half lines, second-half lines, prop bets and more. A new world opened up to me.
Then, thanks to our government, Pinnacle got shut down in the U.S. So it was off to 5Dimes.com. I’ve been using that site for about 15 years and have never had an issue placing a sports bet.
So today’s ruling won’t impact my life much. I've had no trouble placing a sports bet for 20-plus years. And I don’t think people who never wanted to bet on sports will start betting on sports because it’s legal. But today should still be celebrated because now it’s all out in the open. No more games and secrets.
Back when I was writing Hot Clicks in the late 2000s, I remember battling with SI higher ups about letting me mention gambling. To say they were queasy at first would be an understatement. Poor Brent Musburger and Al Michaels couldn't openly mention point spreads. Those of us on the East Coast who would trek to a disgusting Atlantic City casino to play some blackjack or roulette couldn't break up the day by wagering on a sporting event. And ESPN had to pretend it airs a million useless college football games across all their networks each and every Saturday because viewers across the country were compelled by the matchups, not because gamblers needed a fix.
That all came to an end today and it's about damn time.
2. Here's a sampling of how Twitter reacted to today's sports betting news:
I realize this sports gambling decision is making a lot of people happy, but let’s not forget you prob have an old buddy named Franky, who has been running a sports book since freshman year of college, and he’s about to get swallowed up by casinos.— Jeff Darlington (@JeffDarlington) May 14, 2018
Keep Franky in your thoughts.
Sports betting is legal. Say goodbye to -110 and welcome the new -120.— BadgerSportsService (@BdgrSprtsServic) May 14, 2018
Sports gambling being legal is also great because that means Roger Goodell is mad today.— Andrew Hodgson (@ahodgson92) May 14, 2018
To any bookie I may or may not have had financial dealings with over the years, let’s not worry about what tomorrow holds for our relationship, let’s just cherish the moments we have together now.— Tom Fornelli (@TomFornelli) May 14, 2018
Pour one out today for all the small town liquor stores and American Legions that just saw their gambling rings go under thanks to legalized sports betting— Pete Helland (@petehelland) May 14, 2018
3. My favorite story from the weekend: Yankees officials blamed Alex Rodriguez for their loss to the Red Sox on Thursday.
4. Bryce Harper hit a RIDICULOUS home run last night.
The best part of the dinger was Diamondbacks right fielder Steve Souza Jr. not moving and just admiring it.
5. John Cena gave the world an update on his relationship with Nikki Bella to Kathie Lee and Hoda this morning and it was pretty raw.
6. RANDOM SPORTS BETTING VIDEO OF THE DAY: Here is Brent Musburger's greatest gambling related moment.
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IN CLOSING: If you're going to start betting on sports now, here's one piece of advice: Don't bet teasers.