On May 13 the United States Supreme Court, in a 6-3 decision ruled, “Congress can regulate sports gambling directly, but if it elects not to do so, each state is free to act on its own. Our job is to interpret the law Congress has enacted and decide whether it is consistent with the Constitution. PASPA is not.”
PASPA is the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act that banned most sports gambling. In essence, the Supreme Court declared that PASPA is unconstitutional in Murphy v. NCAA.
Justice Alito, who wrote for the seven-member majority, indicated that the anti-commandeering doctrine at the center of the holding “may sound arcane, but it is simply the expression of a fundamental structural decision incorporated into the Constitution, i.e., the decision to withhold from Congress the power to issue orders directly to the States.”
Congress could go back and ban sports betting entirely, but getting Congress to agree on anything these days is virtually impossible. Therefore, it opens the door for individual states, including Georgia, to decide for themselves if they want to permit sports gambling. Legalized betting on sporting events could be available for some states as early as the upcoming football season.
The Atlanta Business Chronicle quoted state Sen. Brandon Beach, who commented, “This week’s U.S. Supreme Court decision throwing open the door to legalized sports betting across the country could aid supporters of bringing casinos to Georgia.”
Yikes! Hollywood has already come to Georgia. Now, we have a legislator wanting to invite Las Vegas to the Peach State as well. What will be next? Vanity Fair? Nineveh? Sodom and Gomorrah?
The Supreme Court’s decision may have serious consequences. First of all, it may taint the sports industry. History has already proven that legalized sports betting is too much for many players, coaches, and referees to handle.
The 1919 World Series produced what has become known as the “Black Sox Scandal,” because eight Chicago White Sox baseball players were bribed to “fix” the series so that the Cincinnati Reds could win. All eight players were permanently banned from organized baseball. But the gambling racketeers got rich in the process. The image of baseball was severely damaged for years.
Pete Rose had all the credentials necessary to be enshrined in Baseball’s Hall of Fame, but in 1986, while he was a player-manager of the Cincinnati Reds, it was discovered that Rose regularly bet on baseball games. As a result he was banned from baseball and consequently, has not been considered for Hall of Fame honors. Gambling has a tendency to diminish and tarnish the image of the game.
Secondly, according to Senator Beach, the Supreme Court’s decision could very well open the door to the legalization of all kinds of gambling, including casinos. If you think that is a great idea you need to remember that casinos gamble with your money and at the end of the day the house always wins.
Furthermore, casinos are associated with prostitution, nudity, lewdness, and every form of wickedness imaginable. Go online and you will find a plethora of stories about people whose lives have been devastated by an addiction to gambling.
Third, gambling is sinful, because it is born out of covetousness and greed. Former FBI director Clarence Kelly declared, “Legalized gambling would not help eliminate corruption; but rather would develop a new class of gamblers who would switch to the illegal games as their addiction grows.” It is sinful to desire to get money without labor.
The author of Hebrews declared, “Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee” (Hebrews 13:5).
Fourth, while the gambling industry claims that casinos, horse racing, etc. will provide more jobs for the community, the very opposite is true, because it ruins industry. Those who are prone to gamble essentially seek something for nothing. A man with the hope of gaining hundreds or thousands of dollars from blackjack or a game of cards will not be content with hard labor or mentally taxing responsibilities.
Fifth, gambling destroys domestic happiness. How often has a man’s greed sent him with his paycheck to some bookie with the vain hope of getting rich while his wife sat at home in rags, his daughters were disgraced, and his sons followed in his steps? Over and over again family ties and filial love have been consumed by the fruitless passion for more; and the rich get richer and the poor get poorer.
The arguments against gambling are almost infinite, but the Supreme Court’s recent decision opens the door wider for additional gambling in Georgia. Our fight for a spiritually and morally healthy Georgia is unending and we must never, never, never give up.