Saturday, July 22, 2017

Bill Crawford: Sports betting on the sly?

Speaking of doofuses, did you see Geoff Pender's column entitled "Did legislative leadership really fall for sports-betting rope-a-dope?" Or the earlier Mississippi Today story entitled "Lawmakers: Didn’t think law would legalize sports betting?"


Lots of legislators are saying they didn't know the bill they passed this year to tax fantasy sports betting may open the door for Mississippi casinos to offer and control Las Vegas style sports betting. Governor Phil Bryant, Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves, and Speaker of the House Philip Gunn are saying that was not the intent of the law.

So who are the doofuses? Legislators and state leaders for not knowing what they were doing? Or us, if we believe there was no skullduggery involved?

Consider this.

In early November, state Commissioner of Revenue Herb Frierson told legislators that sports betting could bring in an additional $88 million to $100 million if legalized and taxed on the state level.

On November 14th, Attorney General Jim Hood General joined with attorneys general from West Virginia, Arizona, Louisiana, and Wisconsin to support New Jersey's Supreme Court appeal that would overturn the federal law that limits sports betting to Nevada, Oregon, Delaware and Montana (though only Nevada and Delaware allow it).

On November 26th, the Biloxi Sun-Herald editorial board took the same position as Hood, "The federal government has correctly left it up to the states to decide whether to allow casino gambling. It should do the same for sports betting."

In February and March of this year, the House (92 to 22) and Senate (46 to 6) passed the fantasy sports tax bill that opened the door to Las Vegas style sports betting. Bryant approved it on March 13th.

Biloxi Rep. Scott DeLano told the Sun-Herald on June 27th, “We did make modifications to Gaming Control Act that would allow for the Gaming Commission to regulate sports betting if it were ever to be overturned at the federal level.”

“It could be a game changer that could provide a huge injection of new investment similar to what we saw in the early 1990s (when dockside casinos were first legalized in Mississippi),” DeLano told Mississippi Today in July.

“If the Supreme Court clears the way, I think it would be a grave, grave mistake if we allowed other states to profit from sports betting,” Sen. Sean Tindell of Gulfport told the newspaper. “If we’re behind the 8-ball, it will be to the detriment and probably failure of the casino industry in Mississippi. This could save Mississippi’s casinos.”

"Save Mississippi casinos" is the telltale. Hard to imagine those in power weren't knowingly acting on behalf of the casinos.

The great irony lost on us doofuses is we voted in 1992 to legalize the lottery, but we never voted to legalize casinos, fantasy sports betting, or even bingo parlors. These, and the pending Las Vegas style sports betting, are all products of our legislators and governors, most of whom say they are opposed to gambling.

The political reality is legislators tend to give casinos what they want, whether straight up or on the sly. Oh, and they don't want a state lottery.

Crawford is a syndicated columnist from Meridian (crawfolk@gmail.com)

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

History and repeating, just saying... http://kingfish1935.blogspot.com/2017/07/the-country-club-of-jackson-where-booze.html

Anonymous said...

This should surprise no one. Our legislators are a bunch of morons, rarely read bills and depend on staff to tell them how to vote. And to have the gaming commission regulate sports betting is a joke, they can't competently handle what they're supposed to be doing now. Everybody knows that the casinos call the shots and the regulation of charitable bingo is a joke.

Anonymous said...

If the Supreme Court overturns current law this will probably produce over 75 million annually over the next 10 years. Maybe we could fully fund education. Correct problems in our mental health care delivery. Fund programs that fight drug addiction.

Anonymous said...

"...Maybe we could fully fund education. Correct problems in our mental health care delivery. Fund programs that fight drug addiction."

Buy every citizen a new straw hat with a $40 gift card to Wall-Mark.

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Trollfest '09

Trollfest '07 was such a success that Jackson Jambalaya will once again host Trollfest '09. Catch this great event which will leave NE Jackson & Fondren in flames. Othor Cain and his band, The Black Power Structure headline the night while Sonjay Poontang returns for an encore performance. Former Frank Melton bodyguard Marcus Wright makes his premier appearance at Trollfest singing "I'm a Sweet Transvestite" from "The Rocky Horror Picture Show." Kamikaze will sing his new hit, “How I sold out to da Man.” Robbie Bell again performs: “Mamas, don't let your babies grow up to be Bells” and “Any friend of Ed Peters is a friend of mine”. After the show, Ms. Bell will autograph copies of her mug shot photos. In a salute to “Dancing with the Stars”, Ms. Bell and Hinds County District Attorney Robert Smith will dance the Wango Tango.

Wrestling returns, except this time it will be a Battle Royal with Othor Cain, Ben Allen, Kim Wade, Haley Fisackerly, Alan Lange, and “Big Cat” Donna Ladd all in the ring at the same time. The Battle Royal will be in a steel cage, no time limit, no referee, and the losers must leave town. Marshand Crisler will be the honorary referee (as it gives him a title without actually having to do anything).


Meet KIM Waaaaaade at the Entergy Tent. For five pesos, Kim will sell you a chance to win a deed to a crack house on Ridgeway Street stuffed in the Howard Industries pinata. Don't worry if the pinata is beaten to shreds, as Mr. Wade has Jose, Emmanuel, and Carlos, all illegal immigrants, available as replacements for the it. Upon leaving the Entergy tent, fig leaves will be available in case Entergy literally takes everything you have as part of its Trollfest ticket price adjustment charge.

Donna Ladd of The Jackson Free Press will give several classes on learning how to write. Smearing, writing without factchecking, and reporting only one side of a story will be covered. A donation to pay their taxes will be accepted and she will be signing copies of their former federal tax liens. Ms. Ladd will give a dramatic reading of her two award-winning essays (They received The Jackson Free Press "Best Of" awards.) "Why everything is always about me" and "Why I cover murders better than anyone else in Jackson".

In the spirit of helping those who are less fortunate, Trollfest '09 adopts a cause for which a portion of the proceeds and donations will be donated: Keeping Frank Melton in his home. The “Keep Frank Melton From Being Homeless” booth will sell chances for five dollars to pin the tail on the jackass. John Reeves has graciously volunteered to be the jackass for this honorable excursion into saving Frank's ass. What's an ass between two friends after all? If Mr. Reeves is unable to um, perform, Speaker Billy McCoy has also volunteered as when the word “jackass” was mentioned he immediately ran as fast as he could to sign up.


In order to help clean up the legal profession, Adam Kilgore of the Mississippi Bar will be giving away free, round-trip plane tickets to the North Pole where they keep their bar complaint forms (which are NOT available online). If you don't want to go to the North Pole, you can enjoy Brant Brantley's (of the Mississippi Commission on Judicial Performance) free guided tours of the quicksand field over by High Street where all complaints against judges disappear. If for some reason you are unable to control yourself, never fear; Judge Houston Patton will operate his jail where no lawyers are needed or allowed as you just sit there for minutes... hours.... months...years until he decides he is tired of you sitting in his jail. Do not think Judge Patton is a bad judge however as he plans to serve free Mad Dog 20/20 to all inmates.

Trollfest '09 is a pet-friendly event as well. Feel free to bring your dog with you and do not worry if your pet gets hungry, as employees of the Jackson Zoo will be on hand to provide some of their animals as food when it gets to be feeding time for your little loved one.

Relax at the Fox News Tent. Since there are only three blonde reporters in Jackson (being blonde is a requirement for working at Fox News), Megan and Kathryn from WAPT and Wendy from WLBT will be on loan to Fox. To gain admittance to the VIP section, bring either your Republican Party ID card or a Rebel Flag. Bringing both and a torn-up Obama yard sign will entitle you to free drinks served by Megan, Wendy, and Kathryn. Get your tickets now. Since this is an event for trolls, no ID is required. Just bring the hate. Bring the family, Trollfest '09 is for EVERYONE!!!

This is definitely a Beaver production.


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Trollfest '07

Jackson Jambalaya is the home of Trollfest '07. Catch this great event which promises to leave NE Jackson & Fondren in flames. Sonjay Poontang and his band headline the night with a special steel cage, no time limit "loser must leave town" bout between Alan Lange and "Big Cat"Donna Ladd following afterwards. Kamikaze will perform his new song F*** Bush, he's still a _____. Did I mention there was no referee? Dr. Heddy Matthias and Lori Gregory will face off in the undercard dueling with dangling participles and other um, devices. Robbie Bell will perform Her two latest songs: My Best Friends are in the Media and Mama's, Don't Let Your Babies Grow up to be George Bell. Sid Salter of The Clarion-Ledger will host "Pin the Tail on the Trial Lawyer", sponsored by State Farm.

There will be a hugging booth where in exchange for your young son, Frank Melton will give you a loooong hug. Trollfest will have a dunking booth where Muhammed the terrorist will curse you to Allah as you try to hit a target that will drop him into a vat of pig grease. However, in the true spirit of Separate But Equal, Don Imus and someone from NE Jackson will also sit in the dunking booth for an equal amount of time. Tom Head will give a reading for two hours on why he can't figure out who the hell he is. Cliff Cargill will give lessons with his .80 caliber desert eagle, using Frank Melton photos as targets. Tackleberry will be on hand for an autograph session. KIM Waaaaaade will be passing out free titles and deeds to crackhouses formerly owned by The Wood Street Players.

If you get tired come relax at the Fox News Tent. To gain admittance to the VIP section, bring either your Republican Party ID card or a Rebel Flag. Bringing both will entitle you to free drinks.Get your tickets now. Since this is an event for trolls, no ID is required, just bring the hate. Bring the family, Trollfest '07 is for EVERYONE!!!

This is definitely a Beaver production.

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