Terminate idiot bets

Feb 12, 2002 4:40 AM

Even in a wonderful occupation as gaming, too much of a good thing is bad.

At a bar, there’s nothing wrong with having a few drinks. However, that’s not an endorsement to get drunk every night. Well, the Internet on-line wasteland is leaving a black mark on gaming.

Proposition bets are tons of fun, but not when they start appearing in the worst-case scenarios. Anti-gaming activists such as Sen. John McCain feed upon the stupidity and vulgarity of non-sports related wagers, which compromise the integrity of the industry.

Las Vegas sports books, fortunately, will have nothing to do with this trash, but seeing odds on Michael Jordan gaining custody of his kids posted at some website harms an industry that prides itself on operating to the highest degree of credibility.

That’s not to mention assorted pools with odds tossed up on when famous individuals will die.

“Death pools are morbid, insensitive wagers which degrade the true morality of gambling,” said former Stardust race and sports book director Richard Saber. “Gambling on sports is a true science, no different than playing a game of chess. Wagering on whether someone lives or dies is something human beings should totally reject.”

The Jordan child custody bet (which thankfully may be moot since both parties have agreed to reconcile) is merely a tip of the iceberg. There are bets on candidates becoming the next Archbishop of Canterbury, wagers on whether Mike Tyson will win the World Wrestling Federation championship, and odds on whether the wife of the late Minnesota Vikings lineman Corey Stringer will win her civil lawsuit.

“Some of these stupid props are so vague that you can be a winner and not even know that you won,” Saber said. “That puts a bad rap on gambling everywhere. When Nevada is under fire for college gambling, we should do everything to keep our industry as straight as possible.”

We need to police this industry a lot better, otherwise the NCAA and a growing number of Washington politicians will eventually have their way and ban it all.