June 9, 2009, - 3:22 pm

Hypocrisy of the Day: Organization w/ “Zero Tolerance” for Gambling Now Sponsors Lotteries

By Debbie Schlussel
How phony is the National Football League? Very.
The league is notorious for taking a strong stand against gambling. While I’m personally against gambling (though I don’t think it should be legislated), the NFL and I don’t come to this position from the same moral high ground. The NFL gazillionaires are pigs, and they just don’t want a single dollar to get away from their claws. And they don’t want the perception that their product (the games) are rigged.
In fact, the NFL is so much opposed to gambling that it abhors events (like exhibition games) in Los Vegas, and brings former FBI agents to training camps to warn players about what will happen to them if they get involved with gambling or bookies.
Given that, you have to laugh at the hypocrisy, given that the Washington Redskins and the New England Patriots just announced licensing agreements with their respective state lotteries. A new NFL rule allows teams to sign licensing deals with state-sponsored lotteries.


The hypocrisy in this is larger than several regulation-sized football fields.
If a lottery isn’t gambling, what is? The odds of winning a lottery are geometrically far worse than the odds of winning a slot machine, at a poker or blackjack table, or betting the line in Vegas. Other than the slot machine, all of these take a certain amount of skill and calculations based on available information. Lotteries, on the other hand, are pure luck.
But times are tough, and NFL ticket and merchandise sales and sponsorship dollars are down. And the NFL piggies need something more to line their pockets, something in addition to the tax-funded stadiums they grabbed by fooling idiot homers and their legislators.
And that something is gambling.
So, the next time you here an NFL official feign dismay at Vegas and gambling, think of the Virginia Lottery and the new $20 scratch-off ticket it unveiled Monday with the Washington Redskins logo on it. And it goes beyond that. While the Virginia lottery has a top prize of $1 million, the second-chance prizes feature a ton of Redskins and NFL related prizes, including Redskins season tickets for 20 years and a chance to travel with the team to a Dallas Cowboys game. The lottery promotion is scheduled to coincide with the start of NFL pre-season games in early August.
It’s a bigger gamble to spend $20 on a lottery ticket than it is to bet the line on the Redskins winning their first game of the season.
Again, remember that the next time NFL officials moralize about their “zero tolerance” policy against gambling. They have no such thing. It’s just that they like some forms of gambling–where they, not mobsters and Vegas tycoons, profit handsomely–better than others.

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4 Responses

As long as its government-sponsored gambling, its OK with the NFL. Its just private gambling that remains verboten. So much for the football league’s family friendly policy.

NormanF on June 9, 2009 at 4:19 pm

I am not against gambling. However, the NFL is being hypocritical about banning betting on football and sponsoring lottery tickets.

californiascreaming on June 9, 2009 at 4:52 pm

Here is a sugestion for a post:

Mats on June 9, 2009 at 6:00 pm

LOTTO odds are impossible-to-One, and THAT isn’t gambling. When I play poker or Blackjack, I actually win. Gambling takes skill. LOTTO is a suckers bet.

#1Vato on June 9, 2009 at 7:59 pm

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