Participating in your office's March Madness pool makes you a criminal

The biggest argument against sports betting usually comes from sports leagues themselves. In particular, the NCAA claims that allowing sports betting to be open, legal, and transparent would lead to destruction of the “integrity” of the competition. Until the early 1990s, states were responsible to regulate all forms of gaming, but because Congress agreed with the NCAA’s argument that legal sport gaming could lead to a loss of public trust in sports competition, we saw passage of the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act in 1992. The act barred all states, with the exception of Nevada, from legalizing sports betting.

Like most federal intrusions into state matters or consumer protection acts, the results are far different than the original intent. Since the enactment of PASPA, sports wagering has grown by a factor of 10.

If the NCAA is truly committed to the integrity of competition, shouldn’t that also include the participants? If the NCAA set aside just 1.5 percent of their annual media rights for the Men’s Basketball Tournament, they could provide $20,000 to each basketball student athlete in the form of a post graduate subsidy. That would show a true commitment to the future well-being of the collegiate basketball labor pool, not just the small percentage of the ones who will be cashing in at the next level.