Every year there are changes in College Football. Some years there are just subtle rule changes, while other times it's the development of a new offensive scheme like the Wildcat or the Spread.
This year the biggest change takes place off the field: Betting on sports, including College Football games will take place on the East Coast of the United States, in Delaware.
While I don't consider myself a big bettor or a big time gambler, I do enjoy placing a wager from time to time. I generally make it out to Las Vegas whenever there is a championship fight and sometimes that happens to be during football season.
I also enjoy playing poker at my local casino and while I probably couldn't make much of a living at it, I play responsibly and never would I wager in any fashion an amount that would impact my life if I lost.
What I don't understand is why the government doesn't think it is okay for me to make a wager over the Internet from the comfort of my own home. If I can go to Las Vegas and plunk down $10 or $10,000 if I so choose and will soon be able to the same in Delaware, why can't I do the same from my couch?
I have heard plenty of arguments about problems this causes as far as insuring age limits of those making the bets, these arguments really don't hold much water.
In a matter of minutes, I could buy prescription drugs, a case of wine, a box of cigars, and probably a wife if I weren't already married.
All of these things and many others have figured out how to go about business legally, why doesn't the government think they can operate online gambling legally?
I can buy a lottery ticket in no less than 40 places within a 10-minute walk from my house. I can buy as many as I want from any of them.
There is then the group who just thinks gambling is bad. Maybe it is, maybe it isn't, but the fact remains that in one form or another it's legal in just about every state.
If I can guess what numbers are going to be drawn on a specific night, why can't I plunk down my hard-earned money betting that Oregon and Boise State are going to blow the roof off of whatever number they put as the over?
A few years back we could bet on football games over the Internet, that is until the passing of the safe port act.
For those of you not familiar with the act, it goes on and on about importing and exporting and then just thrown in at the end as an after thought is a few paragraphs about money transfers to gambling establishments.
Since the passing of the act, I take time out every year to write my congressmen, senators, and the President. All of them are are usually kind enough to respond. Here is the latest email I got just this week:
Dear Mr. Wilson:
Thank you for contacting me regarding the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA).
Passage of the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA) in 2006 as Title VIII of the SAFE Port Act represented the culmination of legislative consideration that began with the recommendations of the National Gambling Commission.
The UIGEA prohibits gambling businesses from accepting checks, credit card charges, electronic transfers, and similar payments in connection with illegal Internet gambling.
Although there is some concern surrounding the regulation of Internet gambling, it is worth noting that the UIGEA exempts lawful intrastate and intratribal Internet gambling operations that feature age and location verification requirements imposed as a matter of law.
Furthermore, several bills have been introduced in the 111th Congress that aim to clarify the ambiguity surrounding our Internet gambling regulations.
The Reasonable Prudence in Regulation Act (H.R. 2266), the Internet Gambling Regulation, Consumer Protection, and Enforcement Act (H.R. 2267), and the Internet Gambling Regulation and Tax Enforcement Act of 2009 (H.R. 2268) all seek to refine Federal oversight of internet gambling regulations.
These measures currently lack Senate equivalents, but rest assured that I will keep your views in mind if similar legislation comes to the Senate floor.
I will continue to listen closely to what you and other Illinoisans have to say about matters before Congress, the concerns of our communities, and the issues facing Illinois and the nation.
My job is not about merely supporting or opposing legislation; it is also about bridging the divide that has paralyzed our nation's politics.
Roland W. Burris
United States Senator
I'll tell you what, I'm no lawyer (though I used to play a doctor in Internet chat rooms back when I was younger and single), and I have no idea what Senator Burris is talking about but I do know I can't bet on football over the Internet.
If Burris' name sounds familiar, he's the guy who was involved in the under the table payment to our ex-Governor, Rod Blagoyavich, causing his eventual ousting and making his life so rough he had to send his wife out to be on "I'm a Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here".
Burris seems like he's willing to roll he dice with his personal life, he just doesn't want me to legally roll them with mine. Is this a guy I should be asking advice from in those areas anyways?
Most people who have read any of my work know that I have no problem talking the talk. Those who know me personally know that I have no problem walking the walk and am willing to wager that my prognostications are correct.
I do not wish to do this illegally, but I do wish to do it. I do not wish to move to Las Vegas or Delaware, though the thought of a Caribbean Island does sound appealing but impractical.
The move by Delaware will more than likely have an impact far beyond anything anyone does on the field this season and with bowl affiliations and the BCS; it may have a much more exciting finish as well.
Visit Mitch anytime at The Sports Chat Place