Sports betting should not be illegal. There is nothing wrong with it, and criminalizing it does nothing to deter it. The only thing that the outlawing of sports betting has accomplished is aiding in the presence of organized crime all over the world. Now, a New York City art dealer of all people will go to jail for betting on sports with people he knows.
From the Wall Street Journal, Hillel Nahmad pleaded guilty to running a gambling ring that took in millions of dollars in wagers. He is one of 34 people that were indicted in this case, and the 14th to plead guilty. As a result, Nahmad is being forced to give up over $6 million in proceeds from the ring, which allegedly included athletes and celebrities (none of which have been named).
In addition, Nahmad was also told that he had to give up a painting, "Carnaval a Nice" for his indiscretions. I'm not sure what a goddamn painting has to do with any of this, but as long as America gets its pound of flesh for some harmless sports betting, I suppose it doesn't matter.
Now, I'm going to ask again: what did this gambling ring hurt? Better yet, would it even needed to have existed if our country would get its collective shit together and legalize sports betting?
The answer to that last question, of course, is no. There would be no gambling rings if you could just go to a casino and bet on the things you wanted to bet on, or if you could hop onto your computer and bet from the comfort of your own home. And that's what is so frustrating about stories about gambling rings such as this one being taken down; the gamblers shouldn't have had to hide in the first place.