Tag Archives: gambling

No to gambling!

No doubt I am likely in a distinct minority, but I happen to be glad to know that sports betting isn’t coming to Texas … at least not anytime soon.

A bill that would have expanded gambling has failed to clear the Legislature.

One of the bill’s sponsors is state Rep. Jeff Leach, a Republican from nearby Plano, who said this, according to the Texas Tribune:

“I look forward to building on our success with Senator (Lois) Kolkhorst and our Senate colleagues to get this legislation across the finish line and allow the voters a voice in whether we have a legal, regulated sports betting market in Texas,” Leach said in a statement.

Just to be clear, I worked for a newspaper that in 1991 opposed the establishment of the Texas lottery. We were a lonely voice in opposition, as the measure passed overwhelmingly.

Also, I need to acknowledge that I recently stuffed a $20 bill into a Nevada slot machine and walked away with a small jackpot.

Do I want the temptation to come to Texas? No!

Effort to allow casinos falls short in Texas House | The Texas Tribune

I find it offensive that the gambling industry doesn’t even use the term “gambling” to describe the activity it is promoting. They euphemistically call it “gaming.”

Listen up, folks! It’s gambling! Any time one gambles on winning a big jackpot by throwing away money for the once-in-a-zillion chance of winning big is, um, taking a chance. Isn’t that gambling?

No need to create a “destination resort” that entices people to throw their money away.


Powerball jackpot hits $800 million!


I’m going to bed tonight pondering whether I should buy a Powerball ticket sometime tomorrow.

The jackpot has hit $800 million. The one-time payout totals something more than $450 million, which ain’t exactly walking-around money.

I doubt that I’ll play tomorrow. But my staunch refusal to gamble in this manner has been shaken a bit by a story I heard about two weeks ago.

The story goes like this:

A good friend of mine told me of a young man — a mutual friend of ours — who decided one day to purchase a Texas Lottery ticket. I’m told he doesn’t play often. But he drove up to a West Texas convenience store the other day, got out of his car, walked into the store and bought a lottery ticket. He just had a wild hair, I guess, so he plunked down some cash.

He won a nice prize.

It totaled $1 million. My friend ended up walking away with nearly 700 grand.

Sure, the federal government got a nice chunk of change from my friend’s winnings. Big deal. He still pocketed a lot of dough. I’d settle for a tenth of that amount.

Am I going to lay down some cash tomorrow for a chance at the Powerball jackpot? Not likely . . . but I haven’t yet slammed the door shut.

Let’s end the Pete Rose campaign for HOF

How about we simply give up trying to debate whether Pete “The Gambler” Rose deserves to be in baseball’s Hall of Fame?

I’ve grown tired of the discussion.

ESPN has aired a segment that revealed pretty conclusive evidence that Rose bet on baseball while he was playing the game, not just managing a team.


Didn’t the man dubbed “Charlie Hustle” deny all those years that he never bet on baseball while he played the game? Didn’t that stand as a possible qualifier that could get him inducted into the Hall of Fame?

Good grief. MLB’s rulebook is as clear as it gets.

Betting on baseball results in a lifetime ban. Pete Rose is still among us, last I saw. That means he doesn’t qualify for the hall.

He at first denied betting on games while he managed the Cincinnati Reds, where he played most of his career. Then he said, well, yeah I bet on games — but not on games involving my teams.

What else might we learn about this guy? He has said all along he didn’t bet while playing the game. That denial now appears headed for the crapper.

I understand fully that Rose got more hits than anyone else in the history of the game. I get that he played his guts out and got the most of the talent he had, which — truth be told — wasn’t as much as many other players of his era. He was a stellar hitter.

He also was a compulsive gambler — who broke one of baseball’s cardinal rules.

I know the Hall of Fame is full of racists, drunks, drug users, womanizers — and even a couple of pitchers known for throwing spitballs.

None of those sins, though, translates to lifetime bans.

Gambling on baseball? That’s the deal breaker.

My vote on Pete Rose for Hall? No

Mike Downey has written a column for CNN.com in which he argues Pete Rose should be inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame.

I now will write that Rose doesn’t belong there. Not ever.


Pete Rose got more hits than anyone else in baseball history. He got more plate appearances and at-bats, too, than anyone else. He played in six World Series. He won three National League batting titles. He was a hell of a ballplayer.

He also broke a cardinal rule in baseball. It’s in the rulebook. The punishment is a lifetime ban from the game. Period. End of story.

Rose bet on baseball while he was still active in the game. He didn’t bet on his team to lose. Still, Downey knows that the rulebook is as clear as possible about betting on baseball. You bet on a game and get caught … you’re out!

Downey offers up the lame excuse that other baseball greats have gotten into the Hall of Fame while carousing late at night. Downey writes: “They say gambling is a sickness, an addiction, like liquor or drugs. They tell us gamblers need help. In the same breath, they tell us funny stories about the Hall of Fame baseball greats who bar-hopped all night, came to the park drunk, played with a hangover, hahaha, what a guy. Oh, that Babe. Oh, that Mickey.”

I get all that. The rulebook, though, doesn’t have a moral turpitude clause in it. Baseball players are allowed to be a lot of unflattering things: drunks, womanizers, racists. Men who fit all those descriptions are in the Hall of Fame.

Those who bet on the game? No can do.

Sorry, Pete. You were a great player. You got more out of your skills than almost anyone who ever swung a bat.

It’s that gambling thing that should keep you out of the Hall of Fame.