Sizzling issues — religious freedom, sports betting, athletes and the anthem

Marcio Jose Sanchez, AP

In this Monday, Sept. 12, 2016, file photo, San Francisco 49ers safety Eric Reid 35 and quarterback Colin Kaepernick 7 kneel during the national anthem before an NFL football game against the Los Angeles Rams in Santa Clara, Calif.

It’s hot — meteorologically and politically. Several simmering issues may hit the boiling point, especially decisions by the U.S. Supreme Court and the Court of Public Opinion.

The now-famous baker, Jack Phillips, argued that his First Amendment rights of free speech and religious expression allowed him to decline to bake a wedding cake for a same-sex couple. Human rights advocates argued harm to the LGBT community and other minorities if Phillips prevailed. The Supreme Court artfully dodged a final constitutional determination on the matter by issuing a narrow ruling supporting Phillips because he was unfairly treated by the Colorado Civil Rights Commission. Can this controversy be resolved?

Pignanelli: “The civil rights movement was based on faith.” — John Lewis

This case evolved into a classic melodrama with Phillips as the hapless victim engendering sympathy because of persecution by the villainous commission, agen sbobet which mocked his religious beliefs during the initial hearing. The court was compelled to play the hero and prevent further government-sponsored criticism of First Amendment rights.

Many Americans express concern with the heavy hand of government forcing the baker to provide products for use in same-sex marriages, which his faith opposes. But ask those same Americans if the baker can refuse service because the customer is African-American, Jewish or Mormon, and the sentiment immediately disappears as such conduct is outrageous discrimination.

Thus, the dilemma.

Americans have a fundamental constitutional right to express their religious beliefs in an open manner. But merchants in the public arena are prohibited — by equally important principles — from using faith to deny goods and services to customers solely for their race, creed, religion or sexual orientation. The Supreme Court will eventually structure a coexistence of both absolutes, because to rule otherwise will encourage supremacists to use a religious ploy in commerce to denigrate and harm minorities and not suffer legal ramifications — a frightening scenario.

No need for the boos and hisses of a melodrama. Americans can respect each other’s religious beliefs while allowing all to participate in the public marketplace without fear of discrimination.

Webb: The court showed that reason, compromise and goodwill can sooth conflicts between freedom of religion and unfair discrimination. But both sides must be willing to concede a little and acknowledge some merit in the other side’s viewpoint. The problem is militants on both sides would prefer to fight and call names rather than solve problems.

Horsing around with sports-betting, Murphy swallows his own poison pill | Mulshine

It’s almost as if Phil Murphy were trying to write the textbook on how not to be a first-year governor.

At the end of the week, Murphy had a perfect opportunity for a photo op at Monmouth Park Racetrack, which is a mere 4 miles from his house as the crow flies – or the racehorse runs.

The picture would have shown the governor doing a grip-and-grin with the racetrack officials as they celebrated the opening of a sports-betting operation that would stimulate the local economy and provide some much-needed tax revenue for that budget he needs to get passed in the next three weeks.

Murphy could have thanked all the people who helped New Jersey win a historic victory in the U.S. Supreme Court that will permit the state to provide a badly needed source of year-round revenue to the racetracks and the Atlantic City casinos.

All he had to do was sign the bill that passed both houses of the Legislature Thursday unanimously.

How could a first-year governor mess that up?

In textbook fashion, that’s how.

First, agen piala dunia Murphy said through his staff that he would have to have his counsel look at the bill, even though they already knew what was in it.

Then the administration reinserted into the discussion a “poison pill” that the Legislature had just taken out.

That was a proviso that any track or casino that started accepting bets before the bill was enacted would forfeit the chance to get a gambling license once the bill was signed.

Senate President Steve Sweeney had inserted that pill into the bill a couple weeks earlier, after that Supreme Court decision was announced.

The sports leagues had gotten an injunction preventing the tracks and casinos from opening sports betting operations. Once the court removed the injunction, Monmouth Park was free to start collecting sports bets.

That was the plan of Dennis Drazin, who runs the track.

But Sweeney wanted a couple weeks to write legislation taxing and regulating sports betting, so he inserted a proviso inserting the pill. He was counting on passing the bill in a couple of weeks.

But he didn’t count on Murphy. Early in the week, there were rumblings to the effect that the governor would hold up the bill as leverage to help him in the budget fight. That might have meant sports betting couldn’t begin until perhaps July.

So out came the pill on Thursday when the bill passed. That meant Monmouth could start taking bets as soon as Friday regardless of whether Murphy signed the bill.

Bet on Indiana to legalize sports wagering

A smart bettor would play the odds that the Indiana Legislature will legalize gambling on sports next year.

That will be possible thanks to a recent Supreme Court ruling that said the federal government can’t stop states from allowing sports wagering — a privilege that until now was reserved for Nevada.

The question will not be all that simple for Indiana, however. Legislators have much to decide beyond a mere “yes” or “no.”

As a philosophical question, Indiana said “yes” to gambling 30 years ago, when we set up a state lottery and started down a path that led to casinos and horse tracks.

Indiana held a competitive edge in gambling for several years, until neighboring states and Native American tribes decided they should get in on the action.

With more competition, Hoosier tax revenue from gambling has stagnated, so sports betting should give it a temporary boost.

Statistics say Americans are placing up to $150 million in illegal bets on sports every year. When sports gambling comes out of the shadows, it’s likely to grow even larger.

States figure they might as well get their cut of that money. But if the state slaps a tax on sports betting, poker indonesia how big should that cut be?

Actually, two bills to legalize sports gambling were tried in the Indiana General Assembly last winter. The authors wanted to have a law ready to go if the Supreme Court approved sports betting.

Those bills went nowhere, but they gave us some idea of how legislators are thinking. Both of them proposed a state tax of 9.25 percent on sports betting. That’s higher than Nevada’s 6.75 percent, but lower than some other states have proposed.

Pro sports leagues want a cut of the action, too. One of last winter’s two bills in Indiana played along. It called for pro football, basketball, baseball and hockey to receive 1 percent of the money wagered on their games in Indiana.

The pro leagues say they would use the 1 percent tax for “integrity programs,” presumably to prevent gambling from influencing the outcome of games.

Casino interests cried foul. They said giving 1 percent to pro sports would cut casino profits on sports betting by 20 percent.

Legislators will have to decide which “needy” group — pro sports teams or casino operators — is more deserving of that 1 percent.

Another question will be whether a gambler should have to go to a casino in person to place a bet on sports. Some states are likely to permit bettering over the internet.

Indiana casino interests say they don’t expect to make a pile of money on sports betting. They say any boost would come from more people visiting casinos and spending money on everything else. With that logic, Indiana might be ahead to skip the smartphone betting.

COLUMN: Sports betting isn’t a sure thing

I learned early about sports betting.

Before high school on Wednesday mornings during football season, I’d head for my dad’s gray metal lunch pail on the kitchen counter.

The betting slip for that weekend’s games would be inside.

Every NFL game was listed with the point spread, followed by a selection of college football games as well.

If you picked the winners in three games, you won $8 on a $1 bet.

If you picked four winners without a miss, you won $10.

I remember telling my dad, “This will be easy.”

Each Friday, I put up my $1 for my dad to place my bet.

Each Sunday, I agonized as the games went back and forth with my bet seemingly hanging in the balance on some meaningless last-minute field goal.

After missing all four of my picks one week, I told Dad that if you managed to pick all four wrong, the bookie should give you your money back out of pity.

Over the years, I’ve been in a few Super Bowl pools and wagered on the NCAA Basketball Tournament when I was in Las Vegas, but for the most part I learned my lesson about sports betting.

The best bet was not making any.

Last month, the Supreme Court struck down a 1992 federal law that banned sports betting. poker domino It cleared the way for New Jersey — and other states — to allow it.

The court’s decision was a legal one, not a moral one, and while I have no problem with placing an occasional wager, sports gambling does come with some baggage.

Most of us have heard about the Chicago White Sox throwing the 1919 World Series.

We know that all-time hit leader Pete Rose was thrown out of baseball for betting on games while he was a playermanager of the Cincinnati Reds.

But there are many other examples in which the integrity of the games have been compromised.

College basketball was rocked by a point-shaving scandal that involved seven schools in 1951, and another one in 1961 that led to 37 arrests at 22 different colleges.

Pro football players Paul Hornung and Alex Karras were suspended for the 1963 NFL season for betting on football games and associating with undesirable people.

In 1979, Boston College players were caught up in a point-shaving scandal.

And in 2007, an NBA referee was caught betting on games and was sent to jail.

Just a few years ago, Gov. Andrew Cuomo staked upstate’s economic future on new casinos that would attract visitors to different parts of upstate, including one in Schenectady. Revenues have been short of expectations so far.

On Tuesday, Delaware became the first state outside of Nevada to go live with sports betting at its three casinos, with the governor there placing the ceremonial first bet on the Philadelphia Phillies.

Our Voice: South Dakota should be open to sports betting

Last month, the door opened to betting on sports in South Dakota and other states where it is now illegal.

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled 6-3 to repeal the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act, a federal law enacted in 1992. The ruling means that states besides Nevada can decide whether they will permit gambling on sports.

This ruling has cleared the way for states like South Dakota to potentially earn huge amounts of cash. And though some might find the entire concept abhorrent, we believe South Dakota cannot afford to ignore this opportunity.

Estimates vary widely on how much money is illegally bet on sports in the United States. Most likely is wagered on professional sports, such as pro football.

Some experts estimate the range of money bet illegally to be $50 billion to $400 billion annually. UNLV’s Center for Gaming has estimated that nearly $5 billion was bet legally in Nevada in 2017.

South Dakota residents in the past have voted an emphatic no to new taxes like a state income tax, and an enthusiastic yes to new forms of gambling.

The state has gathered in more than $2 billion since the first video lottery machines were turned on in 1989. In 2017, video lottery accounted for 7 percent $105 million of revenue in the state’s general fund.

Change to state Constitution

Currently, the South Dakota Constitution does not permit sports betting in the state. To change it, daftar poker a state constitutional amendment would have to be placed on the general election ballot through the petition process or from an act of the state Legislature, and then passed.

A Deadwood gambling advocacy group already is discussing trying to put such a constitutional amendment on the ballot in 2020. Not only are Deadwood casino owners making plans for and dreaming dreams of possible legal sports betting profits, so are groups like the one who are trying to keep horse racing alive in Aberdeen and Fort Pierre.

“We think that thousands of South Dakotans want to wager in sports betting, but they want to do it in a legal, safe environment, and so we’d like to give them that opportunity,” Deadwood Gaming Association executive director Mike Rodman said. “I think that whenever we can take illegal gaming and make it legal and … regulated, it’s good for the consumer.”

Voting on sports betting and setting up regulations for it would be part of the process for states like South Dakota to see if sports betting is a right fit. If it eventually is, we would encourage leaders to study the best practices from the states who have gone before us.

Others see pitfalls in the logic of legalized sports betting, both intellectually and morally.

Leaders like former state representative and 2006 Democratic governor candidate Dr. Jack Billion of Sioux Falls. While acknowledging to the Sioux Falls Argus Leader that betting on sports is here to stay, Billion has opposed expanded gambling in the past.

Sports Betting came to Monmouth Park Sunday – sort of

As the legislature works out the details, Monmouth Park prepares for the first day of legal Sports Betting in the Garden State. Peter Ackerman Steve Edelson

Two-Year-Old Sports Betting #5 with Paco Lopez riding broke his maiden at first asking in the 1st race at Monmouth Park in Oceanport, New Jersey on Sunday June 10, 2018 for OwnerBreeder Dennis Drazin. Ryan DenverEQUI-PHOTO

Sports Betting came to Monmouth Park on Sunday.

It really did. Or more accurately, he really did.

While Monmouth Park had hoped to become the first facility in the state to take advantage of the sports betting bill approved by Trenton lawmakers on Thursday, Governor Phil Murphy has yet to sign the bill into law.

But while the Oceanport racetrack’s $2.5-million William Hill Sports Bar remains closed, it was a 2-year-old colt named Sports Betting, owned by Monmouth Park president and CEO Dennis Drazin, making his debut a winning one in the first race on Sunday.

Trained by Jason Servis, situs judi online Sports Betting went off as a heavy favorite and didn’t disappoint in the $36,000 maiden special weight race, leading every step of the way in posted a two-length victory, turing back a challenge by Babbo Babbo Babbo down the stretch.

Ridden by Paco Lopez, Sports Betting is the a Kentucky-bred son of Shanghai Bobby, out of the Smarty Jones mare  Smarty Bull.

The hope had been that sports betting, considered an important alternative revenue stream, would make it to the track before the young colt. Drazin was one of the driving forces in New Jersey’s seven-year legal battle that resulted in the Supreme Court of the United States ruling that the law banning sports wagering was unconstitional.

At least on this day, however, there was Sports Betting at Monmouth Park.

Stephen Edelson: sedelsongannettnjm; SteveEdelsonAPP

Gov. Phil Murphy speaks at a news conference at the Heldrich Hotel in New Brunswick on Friday.Brent Johnson | NJ Advance Media for NJm

Murphy also brushed aside criticism over how he already announced he would sign a set of gun control bills Wednesday that the state Senate passed Thursday, noting the Assembly already passed them more than a month ago.

He said the sports betting bill was still being altered up until Thursday’s vote.

“Big difference,” Murphy said during the news conference at the Heldrich Hotel. “Those bills that got voted on the Senate yesterday, we had visibility on them from the Assembly for six weeks. We had already kicked the tires.”

Brent Johnson may be reached at bjohnsonnjadvancemediam. johnsb01. Find NJm Politics on .

No N.J. sports betting yet, but Murphy insists he’s not ‘sitting on it’

Gov. Phil Murphy said Friday he doesn’t have a timetable for when he’ll act on a bill that would authorize legal sports betting in New Jersey a but he insisted he’s not “sitting on it.”

“I want sports betting,” Murphy said during a news conference in New Brunswick. “Believe me a I want to place the first bet in New Jersey if I can. But we want to make sure we do it right. We just got the bill. We’re going through it, and we’re not gonna sit on it.”

“We’re going to have sports betting sooner than later in New Jersey,” he added. “We’re really excited about that.”

The fate of New Jersey sports betting is now in Murphy’s hands after both houses of the state Legislature voted overwhelmingly Thursday to pass the bill, which would regulate and tax such wagering online and in person at the Garden State’s casinos and racetracks.

The vote came less than a month after the U.S. Supreme Court handed New Jersey a victory in its seven-year, $9 million case to legalize betting on sports games.

Murphy now has 45 days to either sign or veto the legislation. Asked if he’ll take all 45 days to act, Murphy said: “I sure as heck would hope not.”

No sports betting in N.J. until Murphy says so

Lawmakers from both political parties are asking Murphy to act quickly a not only because New Jersey has already waited years for this but because the Supreme Court allowed states around the U.S. to legalize such betting, situs judi bola and legislators here want to capitalize on the tax revenue as soon as possible.

State Assemblywoman Serena DiMaso, R-Monmouth, said New Jersey is about to miss out on “a really big weekend for sports.” The Belmont Stakes, NBA Finals, Mets vs. Yankees Subway Series, French Open and more are on the schedule.

“That is a huge missed opportunity and an even bigger loss for our gambling industry,” DiMaso added.

Assembly Minority Leader Jon Bramnick, R-Union, also called on Murphy to sign the bill immediately.

“Let’s not play politics after years of hard-fought litigation,” Bramnick said. “The state is losing revenue every day we wait.”

But Murphy said he’s not going to “change my stripes just because it’s a big weekend.”

Then there’s the issue of Monmouth Park. Officials at the Oceanport racetrack say their long-awaited sports betting operation is ready to go. And lawmakers stripped out language from the bill that would have penalized casinos and tracks if they started betting before Murphy signs the measure into law

2019 NBA Championship Odds: Warriors Betting Favorites, LeBron Decision Looms

Nathaniel S. Butler Images

The future of likely free agent LeBron James will again dictate the futures odds market for the NBA this offseason if he opts out of the final year of his current contract with the Cleveland Cavaliers as expected by June 29.

Where James will ultimately end up remains to be seen, but sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark have been cautious with their 2019 NBA championship odds in anticipation that he could sign with one of a few different teams.

Regardless, the two-time defending NBA champion Golden State Warriors top the betting board as 25 favorites wager $100 to win $125 to win their third title in a row, something that has not been accomplished since the Los Angeles Lakers completed their three-peat back in 2002.

The Lakers are listed as one of the top suitors on the LeBron James 2018-19 team odds in an effort to return to relevance in the Western Conference next season.

Los Angeles has cleared enough salary-cap space to make a run at James and perhaps another star player like Paul George, agen sbobet who has been speculated to be headed there since his days with the Indiana Pacers. George was dealt to the Oklahoma City Thunder from the Pacers prior to last season and can opt out of his deal there as well to become a free agent.

The Lakers are 600 to win the 2019 NBA championship, the fifth choice on the board behind the Warriors, Houston Rockets +400, Philadelphia 76ers +450 and Boston Celtics +600 and ahead of the Cavaliers and San Antonio Spurs both +2500.

The 76ers and Celtics would obviously benefit the most in the Eastern Conference if James defects to the West, although the former is still hoping to make a solid bid for his services to put them over the top. Meanwhile, the latter should be the team to beat in the East if James leaves Cleveland and Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward stay healthy.

The Rockets are the other intriguing contender that could land James, potentially forming a “Big Three” featuring him, James Harden and another unrestricted free agent that they could re-sign in Chris Paul.

James would seem to have a much better shot to win another championship in Houston compared to Los Angeles depending on who else the Lakers could lure, such as George or possibly Kawhi Leonard of the Spurs via trade.

For more odds information, betting picks and a breakdown of this week’s top sports betting news check out the OddsShark podcast with Jon Campbell and Andrew Avery. Subscribe on iTunes or listen to it at OddsShark.libsynm.

New Jersey’s new sports betting bill doesn’t bode well for esports

The revised sports betting bill in New Jersey includes a paragraph that restricts esports betting to particular circumstances throwing a wet squid over the initial excitement created by the esports betting community.


I’m not a fan.

I can’t play the game.

I have zero patience.

In the 90s I was one-third of the managerial contingent that negotiated The New Deal for Traincrew revisions. Sat across the table from the three of us were the wise old owls of the Associated Society of Locomotive Engineers and Firemen ASLEF, one of the most notorious trade unions in the UK.

We represented our CEO.

They represented their members.

All of us had a pressing need to agree to anything.

One thing I learned throughout those months was the art of confusion. Whenever there was a disagreement between both parties, each would meet in the middle with a form of words that was so ambiguous that the people on the ground, responsible for implementing the new revisions, would be fighting for eternity on the point of interpretation. Management would argue it meant ‘x’, and the union would argue it meant ‘y’ – but a deal was signed.

Has a similar thing happened with esports in New Jersey?

New Jersey Sports Betting Legislation to Omit Esports

On May 14, the Supreme Court voted in favour of overturning the 1992 Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act S, agen piala dunia thereby giving states the ability to create laws to legalise and license sports betting. The gambling community fired rockets into the sky including those involved in the newly formed esports betting markets.

First off the mark was Delaware.

Small change.

Coming up on the rear are the slightly bigger thighs of New Jersey, and it seems that esports operators are going to be left haggling over a point of interpretation because the revised bill that sits before NJ Gov. Phil Murphy contains wording that could jeopardise betting on esports in the state.

Here is the paragraph that’s causing all the controversy:

“A prohibited sports event includes all high school sports events, electronic sports, and competitive video games but does not include international sports events in which persons under age 18 make up a minority of the participants.”

I would assume because of the vagueness of the paragraph that its inclusion is to appease the ‘for’ and ‘against’ arguments for esports’ inclusion in the bill. Maybe the key goal of the bill creators is to get ‘anything’ passed as soon as possible, as it seems apparent that some of those holding court believe playing professional video games is child’s play.