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Friday, October 26, 2007

Legalize It!

It appears that gambling among NBA referees is far more widespread... and far less serious... than many had feared.

ESPN's Chris Sheridan reports:

Stern said an internal review had found that all of the league's 56 referees violated the contractual prohibition against engaging in gambling, with more than half of them admitting to placing wagers in casinos. But Stern said none of the violations was major, and no referees had admitted to wagering in a sports book or with a bookie.

Emphasis mine. The "no referees had admitted to wagering with a bookie" part is sort of amusing, no? Was the league really expecting a lot of refs to step up and cop to placing bets with Chris Moltisanti and Paulie Walnuts behind the Bada Bing?

But anyway... it seems like the league has come up with a remarkably simple solution to the problem. They're going to re-write the policy on gambling to allow referees the same leeway as players, coaches and officials. Which means no one is going to get fired for placing a side bet on a golf game or playing a few hands of blackjack at Mohegan Sun.

(Hmm... an outright ban doesn't work, so legalize it. Where have I heard that argument before?)


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