92 Comments

A Reader (and Gambling Expert) Responds to My Legalization Column

| May 18th, 2018

Hi Jeff,

As a longtime fan/reader/listener of dabearsblog, I would like to offer up my experience and perspective on the recent change to sports betting laws in your country, and what results that may actually lead to in states across the U.S.A.

Sports betting has been legal in Canada for years, and in most provinces since the 90s, when offered by a provincially licensed/regulated entity.  But how it has been treated from province-to-province differs a fair bit, and the ongoing struggles to get certain sports/offers approved continues.  Following from your recent article, I would have some differing views on what the future may hold, but some points I agree with and have some further context:


“What a full sports book does is open up hundreds upon hundreds of bets per game…The active sports books around the country will take this action and the most creative ones will make the most money.”

This pre-supposes a lot.  States will want their say, and each could and will likely be very different in what they allow.  Will they have a private operator model, or will it be through the state-owned lottery…or some hybrid?  In Canada the models are very similar (with some nuance online), but in Europe there is a lot of variety.  Regardless of the operating model, what they allow to be offered in law may differ starkly.  In Canada, there are only two provinces (of 10) that today offer in-game (“live”) betting.  While most offer prop bets, the type & quantity allowed differ a fair bit.  Still not allowed throughout the country:  single-event betting.  It is still in our criminal code that you cannot bet on a single sporting event – thus, we must force parlays of at least two events.  Some states may be very conservative, if history holds.


“This will all be done digitally, of course.”

I would not be so sure.  Again, different states will handle this differently.  Even here in Canada, where sports betting has been legally offered in a regulated fashion for decades, there are provinces where you cannot bet online with a regulated operator, including the biggest province (Ontario).  Some provinces have continued to hold this overreaching puritanical belief that offering it online is far worse or more addictive than via retail stores (it is available in private convenience/pharmacy/grocery stores across the country).

Some places have even been so skittish with some forms of gambling that they pulled them out after they were offered for years.  Examples include:  Minnesota stopped allowing its lottery to offer digital scratch tickets, and in Atlantic Canada a government stopped from offering NASCAR betting after it was available for years.


“I’ll be shocked if this leads to some epidemic of gambling addicts.”

This is a good inclination.  The incidence of problem gambling among those who bet on sports here, is only about 4%.  That means those people are defined as problem gamblers, but it does not prove/indicate that sports betting is the cause of that.  In fact, many sports bettors gamble on other products, some that have been found to have much greater ties to problem tendencies (e.g. slots).


“Every state should be legally required to clearly identify where the proceeds from sports gambling will go.”

Sounds smart, in theory, but in practice most politicians are averse to it.  “Earmarking” of gambling revenue has been scant across the Canadian provinces.  Most politicians don’t want to be boxed in; and, perhaps, may not want to take away any credit for certain initiatives they think should be theirs (who doesn’t love a good photo-op).  Yes, there have been a few states that have been willing to earmark their lottery revenue, Michigan has always stood out as an example, but I believe that is the exception and not the norm.  I would expect the propensity for earmarking to closely follow what states already do with gambling revenue.


“Don’t worry about the integrity sports, especially at the professional level. At the college level? Who cares? Does big-time college sports have any integrity now? College athletics is shady and corrupt. Will this will make that worse? Probably. And if I were New Jersey, I wouldn’t touch it.”

I would generally agree with you, here.  There has been some research done on this that shows where match fixing occurs.  (hint – it is largely where the athletes are not getting paid, or they cannot trust getting paid…failing Eastern European soccer teams have been a great example)  It won’t be the major pro- sports leagues.


“Congress shouldn’t allow the leagues to collect a nickel of this money. Not a nickel.”

They will likely whine and say they need money to improve integrity protections due to increased likelihood of fixing, or some nonsense about improving responsible gambling.  But, it is malarkey.  Where gambling gets regulated, it increases the transparency of betting activity (thus, reducing likelihood of fixers being able to function – they like a cover of darkness), and also reduces the incidence of problem gambling.  The leagues have little to no role in either.  And, college sports will likely be of better integrity if its gambling is regulated and brought into the open.

Regards & Bear Down,

[NAME REDACTED]

Bears Fan since ’85,

and

Source who has marketed regulated

sports betting for a Canadian lottery for years

Tagged: ,

  • “It is still in our criminal code that you cannot bet on a single sporting event – thus, we must force parlays”

    MMMMMM. I don’t think even Vinny forces you to bet parlay. Foggetabout it.

    • Also, what is little talked about and perhaps unquantifiable is that American psychology is completely different than any other humans on the planet.

      Don’t Canadian’s own more guns per person than Americans?

      Anyone want to guess who has more gun homicides – I think Chicago alone has all Canada covered.

      Canadians on the whole seem more balanced and prudent

      Don’t believe me?

      Canadian Road Rage

      Canadian “terrorist”

      https://www.independent.co.uk/voices/alek-minassian-toronto-attack-police-gun-not-shoot-van-suspect-a8319756.html

      How do you think these 3 incidents would’ve went down in the US?

      yeah, we all know.

      So gambling should help!

      • CanadaBear

        Canadians have a lot of long guns (shotguns and rifles) and not a lot of handguns. Handguns laws are really restrictive. Lots of stabbings up here. NTM there are more people in California than all of Canada. And Canada’s land mass is larger than the US’s.

        • leftcoastdave

          Much of that land mass is as habitable as Antarctica, or perhaps more kindly, Greenland?

          • CanadaBear

            Not really. Maybe if you’re a candy ass.

          • Candy ass. Ha.

        • Irish Sweetness

          Are there more stabbings per capita in Canada though?

          • CanadaBear

            Have no idea. I was just struck by the number of stabbings in Calgary when I lived there. Maybe there are just as many per capita in the US but it doesn’t register with all the gun violence. I grew up in an area with about 250-300,000 people and it was way more dangerous than Calgary (1.25 mil).

      • Sactowns#1

        It’s called wealth disparity. Canada doesnt have nearly the disparity that the US does. When people are poor and see no way out, then they often turn to violence.

        • What we have to decide as a species, is if “greatness” is worth the price.

          Let’s be honest. The only soil genius and greatness blooms in is suffering and disparity.

          This is why the U.S. is more powerful than Canada. As Nietzsche would say, Ubermen “perfect barbarian” even more than Germans, Mongolians or Spartans

          Or if you wanna see it in artistic and not militaristic forms, Gogh, Beethoven…

          What we have to decide is if we want a slow, but steady, progress of knowledge and beauty

          In which case, a bunch of Canadas and Japans (Vulcans)

          Or if we want eruptions and gigantic leap forwards (U.S., maybe USSR and China) but at the expense of lots of ppl (just read the bios of geniuses and those around them).

          • KentuckyBearsFan

            That’s true on one hand about the greatness and suffering part…but on the other hand there is the Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs argument.

          • SC Dave

            “Necessity is the mother of invention” did not spring from nowhere.

          • Juan Stone

            The hammer is an interesting tool Butch, it can be used for many purposes. Saying the U.S. is more powerful than Canada is an incorrect assessment on your part. Did you know that all North American Treastice Law is governed by the Canadian Solicitor General? The United States is just one member of the World Body Corporation. If I was your college professor, I’d silently hand you back your paper, ungraded.

          • Sactowns#1

            I’m not sure I buy the suffering and despair argument, unless we’re just talking psychologically. I dont think Bill Gates was walking barefoot to school and eating govt cheese.

          • Irish Sweetness

            Bill Gates and Allen came from money, just enough so that they could buy out the other two guys in the garage just before they forked out for PC DOS for something like 50k …. changed a few lines of code in it … and then flogged it to IBM as the thing to drive their new PCs after Gary Kildall fucked up.

            Right time right place right Daddy.

          • Irish Sweetness

            From what I’ve seen from the greatest scientists of the last 2000 years, poverty was not a common factor. Well-to-do families provided the womb for most of them. Having the education and the time to foster a keen intellect needs the right environment. If your main worry, and a daily one, is getting enough food, then you’re probably not concerned with trying to work out an equation to represent the motion of the planets. Maslow was mentioned on here.

            Scientific geniuses have come from humble backgrounds, but you wouldn’t have to travel too far back in their line to find money.

        • Irish Sweetness

          That’s a good answer, and probably top of the tree.

          Take a trip over to the Norwegians. Struck oil in ’68 and decided to let the people own it. (There’s a mindblower). They’re as rich and as happy as fuck. People don’t go around fucking shit up. Go figure.

          If Canada actually went after their natural resources with intent, handed it to the people …. they could be the #1 country on the planet.

      • Irish Sweetness

        Psychology is universal, no?

        American values and society, that’s what’s so different. Canada is an excellent example. They’re land-neighbors. Yet the people are very different, and they even have more guns, but far less of the problems their neighbors have.

        So – AmeriCanadians …why?

    • Irish Sweetness

      Having the state be involved in any way on what kind of bets you can have is crazy. America is perceived as some kind of Mecca for freedom, yet gambling is mostly illegal and the state then has input on your bet?

      You empower private companies to take and make the bets. They have it worked it out already. They’re pretty good at it.

      • Well, the guy above is Canadian, which makes sense.
        But never in a million yrs can someone (or govt) make me parlay. Maybe that’s the point? dissuade?

        This would be the equivalent of pulling off a 3 some with your GF and her sis.

        dream on.

      • Sactowns#1

        And there were hundreds of legal bingo halls in California when the lottery was legalized, yet the state didnt say “oh you have this all dialed in, you just take it”. Thats absurd. If you think any state is going to cede power to some off shore digital entity, youre crazy.

        • Irish Sweetness

          That’s what the rest of the world did.

      • KentuckyBearsFan

        I want a bumper sticker with an American flag that says “Mecca for Freedom!” just to see if my tires get slashed.

        (maybe I should get a car first. …AND THEN the ambiguous bumper stickers)

        I was about to jaywalk yesterday but then saw a cop car. I walked around.

        Know a guy who got a speeding ticket recently while he was coming FROM the highway onto the exit (so he was braking to an almost stop) and the pig gave him a ticket saying he had taken the ramp too fast. Cop wouldn’t allow the guy to see the speed reading saying it was illegal….never heard that one before. Cops usually show you the reading if you ask.

        • That Guy

          Your buddy got jobbed and should have insisted on seeing the radar display. You have to clear it between uses, and log the clearing. When I was a kid, a cop in my town had dozens of tickets thrown out by the judge because they were all for 42 in a 35 zone. He couldn’t produce his log of clearing and calibrating his gun.

          Challenge the ticket. Go to the station and request the calibration record for the radar gun. Request the cop’s training certificate on the radar gun. Request the logs involved with the radar gun (the type of logs vary by jurisdiction and type of gun). Then go to the county engineer and request the DOT/safety survey for the stretch of road (that justifies the speed limit being set where it is). Any of those documents are missing, or if the PD/county can’t/won’t provide them, your ticket is invalid and the judge will toss.

          I thank the stars above that my county priorities are that sheriff’s deputies only issue moving violations as a consequence of pursuit, arrest, or egregious violations. We don’t even own a radar gun, and I’ve probably issued fewer than 5 speeding citations in 20 years.

          • KentuckyBearsFan

            He’s lived in the town all his life.Has a lawyer friend who should be able to clear it up at no cost.

      • evantonio

        eh. if we were a mecca for freedom we’d be allowed to smoke pot in our living rooms. also, butt sex. we’d be allowed to have butt sex in any state with any person of legal age.

        • KentuckyBearsFan

          But under communism, all of that would be MANDATORY.

          (that was a joke…I grew up under the tail end of the Cold War…the ’80s)

          • There is no more “communism” – never was.

            USSR was a 3rd world racket. Like it is now. The whole point of communism is equality, yet, somehow, tyrants like Stalin and Mao (Godfathers) end up on top.

            The China guy is now emperor for life.

            Pretty sure that’s not communism

            Marx, to his credit, knew this would happen.

            There’s a french saying.

            If a monkey reads a book an angle doesn’t stare back

          • KentuckyBearsFan

            yeah a top-down totalitarian society mandating “equality” isn’t going to bring equality or peace on earth.

          • Sactowns#1

            Neither is a totalitarian society mandating inequity. Just remember, China and Russia have fewer prisoners than the US.

          • KentuckyBearsFan

            absolutely. in that case you get feudalism. When a society gets stuck in feudalism, that era of lack of innovation can last centuries.

          • “Modestly” Huge Bears Penis

            Fewer prisoners that we know of.

          • Animal Farm said it best

            “Some are more equal than others”

            Sadly, the most successful political system is also the most cynical assuming the worst in man.

            That’s why our system works to an extent.

            It assumes the worst, that presidents, congress and judges can be corrupted, so they set it up so that they check each other.

            But humans are tribal and crave monkey kings, so the executive will always be more powerful than the other two branches.

          • KentuckyBearsFan

            We need to combine the direct democracy of the Swiss where any petition with 100,000 signatures (maybe it should be a few million for the US) goes to vote to become a law….with some basic know how of how to feed and clothes ourselves without modern technology like the Amish.

          • Goes back to the original premise, Kentucky

            Do you want a bunch of steady Japans, Canadas, Switz…or do you want Athens, Egypt, Maya, Germany, US…?

            Look at us as men. How many of us have shrugged off the “nice girl”.

            Answer.

            All.

          • KentuckyBearsFan

            Yes, there is the psychotic appeal of the crazy girl. I won’t deny that.

            Last year I was visiting my folks and friends of there’s came by with her daughter. Not bad looking, and I think I didn’t look too awful that day. But the entire conversation was about business (which she had nothing to do with but everybody else did) so the conversations were entirely conservative from everybody including her. I must have seemed boring as fuck, and she seemed boring to me as well but it’s hard being normal around two sets of parents.

            But my gut told me that was a horrible way to meet. She was nice. I was nice. This would never work out.

          • Irish Sweetness

            No sparks. The needle doesn’t move. Shake the hand, move on.

          • leftcoastdave

            Direct democracy results in tyranny of the masses.

            Eat the rich, or any other minority the majority does not like.

          • KentuckyBearsFan

            Maybe. But what we have now is tyranny of the organized minority.

            Are you familiar with economist Mancur Olson’s “The Logic of Collective Action” ?

            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Logic_of_Collective_Action

          • leftcoastdave

            “Progressives” never learned the lesson of the 20th century which was all of the failed utopian visions, be they nationalist socialist or communist. Power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely. But “Progressives” want more and more guvamint control of not just your behavior, but your speech and thoughts.

          • Sactowns#1

            Well that’s just a flat out lie. Can you point to an example of progressives trying to pass legislation to curb free speech or thoughts? In fact, progressives are generally pushing to eliminate govt controls on behavior. Think the failed war on drugs if that helps.

          • leftcoastdave

            It cannot happen by legislation, other than the attempts to control the airwaves and the internet, so it happens on campus. Regularly. Speech codes don’t exist?

          • Juan Stone

            Name calling and character assination is normally the modus operendi Sac. The name “progressive” was itself designed to accomplish this. The self proclaimed intellectually dishonest “smart” movement. Sigh… I digress. I actually detest politics, it’s nothing but a Circus.

            I like some of your ideals and oponions Sac and I know you want to help people which is what I’m into as well, I just think party politics and catch phrase movements are destructive and they seem to do do more harm than good. I remember when American’s used put country first and party politics second. I kinda miss that. Actually, I DO miss that.

          • Juan Stone

            No worries Ken, Jesus is coming with a can of whoop ass.

          • Juan Stone

            Communism was/is the “Great Experiment” 2.0. Nothing more, nothing less.

          • Irish Sweetness

            Yup, I’ve never seen true socialism or communism … and what they call capitalism is just corporatism.

          • Irish Sweetness

            They Thought They Were Free

            By Milton Mayer
            http://www.thirdreich.net/Thought_They_Were_Free_nn4.html

            “They Thought They Were Free: The Germans 1933-1945”,
            University of Chicago Press. Reissued in paperback, April, 1981.

            Could this apply now to the USA?

          • KentuckyBearsFan

            Congressional job approval rating has hovered at mostly 20% or less during the last decade.

            http://news.gallup.com/poll/1600/congress-public.aspx
            http://news.gallup.com/poll/145238/congress-job-approval-rating-worst-gallup-history.aspx

            So could this apply to the US? I would say no. Fascism will have to be forced down our throats (and elements of it already have been)….but enough of the population believes that some things are too seriously fucked up to Think We Are Free.

        • Juan Stone

          If it’s freedom you want, there’s always the poison hemlock. Hey don’t knock it, it was good enough for Socrates.

        • Sactowns#1

          The freest country with the most prisoners in the world.

        • Irish Sweetness

          Evan loves butt sex.

          • evantonio

            MB’s influence lives on long after he’s gone.

  • Irish Sweetness

    God I miss Brian Urlacher, and the returner that was Devin.

    Enjoy again from 1:52 onwards. (skipping the 6 offensive turnovers and zero offensive points)

  • CanadaBear

    Needless to say this letter isn’t from me. I’ve never placed a bet in Canada.

  • Sactowns#1

    So basically what I said in the last couple of posts.

  • Juan Stone

    Will the blog take bets when Yonny and Dave throw down? Of course it won’t be as fun now that Cutty’s gone. Hee hee

    • SC Dave

      Yonny and I never ague now.

      • Yeah, cuz you were right, SC.

        I came late to the party too.

        Damn me for being bushy tailed and hoping for once in my life I can witness a real Qb in Bears uni!…

        Alas…

        • Juan Stone

          Only a “real” Bears fan could have seen Cutty’s greatness. Lol

        • SC Dave

          We have MT now. Hope springs eternal.

      • Juan Stone

        Lol, eye see that Dave. Still, I’m confident you would be a major contributor in all the fun. Hee hee

  • 5 teams face class action lawsuits by cheerleaders over their horrible working conditions.

    https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2018/may/18/nfl-nba-cheerleaders-lawsuits-sports

    • KentuckyBearsFan

      only 5?

      • Sactowns#1

        Oh I’m sure there will be many many more. It’s pretty appalling how much the teams make and how little they pay these performers.

        • willbest

          They are paid in status. It seems idiotic to you or me, but then there are a hundred cheerleaders per opening.

          • KentuckyBearsFan

            Well, it’s probably also the adrenaline rush of performing in front of a crowd that size. Along with the psychological satisfaction of societal approval. The crowd is cheering so I must be necessary kind of thing.

            But when the boss goes too far and tells you to do things that are not agreed on with consent, you feel like a piece of shit…taking away the reasons to perform in front of an audience you would do for almost free for fun.

          • AlbertInTucson

            “…a hundred cheerleaders per opening.” And I bet that’s a conservative estimate.

        • Johnnywad

          I don’t know. How much should they make? Three hours of dancing for 8 home games a year where you’re barely even noticed due to the enormity of the event is my take on it. I may be a bit jaded. But I’d bet you could quickly and easily fill the same role with volunteers or local high school teams, who while less strippery, just as talented.

          • CanadaBear

            My sister has always called them football strippers. The Honey Bears were still operating the last time I saw the Beloved live. A pleasant diversion considering how bad the Bears were back then (70’s).

    • Juan Stone

      I have no sympathy for a cheerleader that doesn’t do their due diligence and ends up with sour grapes.

      I do however, have sympathy for cheerleaders that do their due diligence and aren’t able to walk away from the NFL because I know exactly how they feel. Selah.

    • “Modestly” Huge Bears Penis

      It makes me sad we don’t have cheerleaders to sue us…

    • Irish Sweetness

      Panthers selling for 2.2. I always reckoned it would take 2 to get my hands on the Bears.

      First thing. Honey Bears luxurious quarters, steam rooms, saunas, oily mattresses. Right next to my office. White chicks need not apply.

      • ButtonShoes

        2 for the Bears? I would figure the bidding would start at 3.5 or 4.

  • willbest

    Foster’s ex recanted and claimed he didn’t beat her. Thus demonstrating the pitfalls of DV prosecution and why he is only likely to get illegal possession of a firearm.

    This woman was apparently convicted of falsely accusing a previous boyfriend of DV. She was injured, but now claims it was a fight with another woman, so who the hell knows what happened.

    http://www.latimes.com/sports/nfl/la-sp-foster-girlfriend-recants-20180517-story.html

  • Irish Sweetness

    Looking at Total Access I forgot about Bennie Fowler. Does that make KW the #5? That’s some #5 to have if his injury demons are gone, right?

    1. A-Rob.
    2. Taylor Gabriel.
    3. Fowler.
    4. A-Miller.
    5. KW

    Trey Burton at TE.

    Tarik the Freak, scatback.

    Jordan ‘The Butcher’ Howard.

    MT & Matt Nagy.

    If the wall holds … I like.

    • willbest

      Bellamy is your #5.

      • Johnnywad

        Completely off topic, but you seem to have a pretty firm grasp of greater Chicago. Other local regs please chime in.

        Would you let your daughter attend the University of Chicago from a personal safety perspective?

        • willbest

          The campus itself is safe, as is the immediate surrounding area where all the rich college employees live.

          The criminal element is generally respecting of the invisible line between neighborhoods, but if she is prone to being adventurous, I would advise against it.

          I wouldn’t rule it out for my daughter.

          • Johnnywad

            I wouldn’t say she’s adventurous. Is it feasible to get to and from campus to the city to actually enjoy some of the benefits of living in Chicago? It’s rising quickly on her radar of schools for undergrad, and I’m reluctant to promote it due to the bullets flying everywhere.

            She’s very bright, and will have tons of options. Based upon some fairly extensive googling, it seems like a great school. But we’ve not been there yet.

            I just don’t know how you truly quantify the safety issue without asking locals.

          • willbest

            She won’t be trapped on an island there. Bus routes go right into campus from the loop. Metra during the day. Green line if she is going in a group. Gentrification is occurring to make it safer further out

          • Johnnywad

            Good info. Thanks.

          • BenderMcLugh

            Red line stop is right there too

          • SC Dave

            Univ of Chicago is a great opportunity, Johnny. Worth a little risk.

          • Johnnywad

            It’s a little daunting to be honest. She’s a very bright student. She’s also an excellent athlete. She’s only a sophomore in high school, so we have some time. But she’s got more opportunities than we can reasonably and thoroughly investigate. So we’re starting to sort things out with academics being the priority. It’ll be an interesting couple of years in our house to say the least.

      • Irish Sweetness

        Ooooooh. Kev gets cut?

        • willbest

          If he can’t win the 4 spot probably. He isn’t a special teamer so he won’t displace one. And they guarenteed bellamy 1.7 million a month ago so Pace is going to roster him unless somebody else does him at camp

    • SC Dave

      Last sentence is, as always, the key to a great offense

  • Malice Halice

    Checkin into Billy Goats off Madison. Another thing off da bucket list

    • SC Dave

      Its nothing, but yeah.

  • FQD1911

    Props for using malarkey, mystery Canadian person.

  • leftcoastdave

    Nice film on Shaheen’s blocking last year. This was what year one was all about for the rookie. Once he gets that right, look out.

    https://beargoggleson.com/2018/05/20/adam-shaheen-run-blocking/

    • SC Dave

      Indeed. Assuming the analysis is accurate, I would say that winning over 7 of 10 is good for a rookie. Bodes well for the future imo.

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