It seems like it’s just a matter of time before New Yorkers will legally be able to reach for their bongs while betting on the Mets.
The Supreme Court yesterday gave the green light to states that want to legalize sports gambling. While New Jersey is ready to let the bad bets roll, New York is taking a slightly more cautious approach – at least for now.
But the upstate casinos run by Native American tribes already claim that the court’s decision gives them the legal authority to take wagers on sports. And a mechanism is in place that would allow the state’s other casinos to open sports books – provided the state’s gaming commission gives them a thumbs-up. It will be interesting to see if state lawmakers follow Governor Cuomo’s lead to punt the issue into 2019 or take it up before their legislative session ends next month.
The major court decision is moving in tandem with a push to legalize marijuana in the state. Considered a fringe issue just months ago, marijuana started getting its moment under the lava lamp courtesy of Cynthia Nixon and her campaign for governor. Since Nixon’s policy push, many state Democrats are all but growing hemp in their backyards while they rush to legalize it.
The bottom line is that there is a lot of money to be made in legalizing things that have been part of an underground economy for decades. And if there’s anything state lawmakers care about, it’s the bottom line. Politicians, lobbyists and businesses all stand to benefit enormously from legalizing pot and sports betting. Meanwhile, there’s a sucker – and a stoner – born every minute.