Legalizing sports betting or online gaming nationwide

Nov 12, 2013 3:00 AM

Unlike me, Art Manteris is way too classy to really put the hammer down on our government’s lack of insight for not immediately legalizing sports betting or online gaming nationwide.

My interview with Art took place at the Global Gaming Expo where he was one of the panelists in a seminar on that subject. Manteris is one of the “old guard” who through the years has remained a powerful force as the face of Station Casinos.

Art doesn’t do many interviews so his conversation with GamingToday (adjacent Q &A) will generate much interest within the industry.

And hopefully, someone in government will wise up and listen to some common sense. You see, when you never leave the Capitol Beltway there’s no way to wipe away the illusion that Las Vegas is still Sin City and gambling on any level is some sinister action.

“Those of us in Nevada in the industry take our jobs so seriously,” Manteris said. “We reject the notion that there is impropriety. There’s not even a remote possibility. It’s ironic that you can’t even walk down a street in London where there isn’t a sports betting shop and yet casino gambling is limited. The attitude in the UK is 180 degrees opposite from here.

“Mobile wagering makes it so that we don’t need to have little shops on every street corner like 7-Elevens,” he added. “Nothing will replace the excitement of the casinos with screaming crowds, cocktail waitresses and several food outlets nearby.”

Manteris said online gaming regarding poker works because it lends itself to those who are tech savvy. It’s deplorable the federal government doesn’t see the positives of all forms of gambling.

“Logic and gaming regulation outside Nevada don’t often go hand in hand,” Manteris politely said. “When the federal government wanted to ban betting on college games the arguments were so mind boggling it just shocked me. They could not be more wrong on those positions. Will it change, who knows?”

Indeed, and like a disease, word spreads continually about the evils that perpetuate the perception the fix is on at any time.

“I would say there are illogical fears,” Manteris said. ”It’s scary. People make a living writing screenplays, going on TV talk shows, influencing the pro leagues by perpetrating the myth of how easy it is to fix games. I don’t buy that (altering outcomes) for a minute.”

Again, read the Q&A. There is so much truth in what Art says. Maybe it will take a Gov. Christie in New Jersey to become president for anything to happen. All we can do now is keep the conversation going.

Mark Mayer has over 35 years covering sports events and is the sports editor at GT. Reach him at [email protected].

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