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The Journal Gazette

Friday, June 01, 2018 1:00 am

Letters

Legalized betting will offer new safeguards

The May 24 editorial on the prospect of legalized sports betting in Indiana (“All bets are on”) misinterpreted the potential and risks associated with legalization. The U.S. Supreme Court's decision to allow states to regulate sports betting comes at a time when public acceptance of gambling and favorable views of the industry are at an all-time high. Indiana has benefited greatly from its partnerships with the gaming industry, and Hoosier policymakers are on the right track adding a study of sports betting's prospects to their summer schedule.

Journal Gazette editors buried the lede in their editorial: Hoosiers are already betting on sports. The American Gaming Association estimated that of the $4.76 billion wagered on Super Bowl LII, only 3 percent was placed legally. The vast majority was bet in the thriving illegal market that provides zero protections for consumers. Suggesting Indiana residents, collegiate athletes and others will somehow be more susceptible to issues within a heavily regulated market is irresponsible.

By creating a legal market, Indiana lawmakers can drive black market, back-alley, illegal sports wagering out of business, generate tax revenue for critical state services, and ensure protections for bettors and vulnerable athletes alike. Gaming industry fees are already specifically earmarked for the prevention and treatment of compulsive gambling through the division of mental health and addiction – more gaming revenue means more money for support services.

Let's create a safe, legal environment for Indiana residents to do what they're already doing – betting on their favorite sports.

Matt Bell

President and CEO

Casino Association of Indiana

 

CHEERS to the gentleman in the striped shirt at Bob Evans on May 26. My grandson and I thank him for his kind generosity by paying for our dinner. It is greatly appreciated and will be paid forward.

Joni Weber

Fort Wayne

 

Issues should determine who represents us next

I just read the letter from W. Patrick Sefton concerning the choice in the 3rd District race between Courtney Tritch and Jim Banks (May 25).

His claim that Banks is a champion for veterans is seemingly accurate. I googled Banks and one site offered six pieces of legislation Banks has sponsored or co-sponsored; every one concerned veterans or the armed services. It is an admirable list. If his only area of concern is veterans, then maybe he should get a job with the Veterans Administration where he can concentrate on his passion. He was elected to represent the whole district; maybe the rest of us aren't getting what we voted for.

I've heard Tritch speak twice and have never heard her mention Bernie Sanders; maybe Sefton has information I don't. He then goes off on the same rant that has consumed conservative politics, especially in Indiana, that Tritch and all Democrats are tax-spending fools who want to take all you have and give it away. He conveniently forgets about the $1.5 trillion Republicans just added to the national debt. The wealth and income gaps in America are the greatest they have ever been. The last time we had a balanced budget was under a Democratic president.

Banks' experience isn't so overwhelming that it is a difference-maker.

Banks has vowed to make this race about the issues, but he initially went off the rails so we will see how he conducts himself from here on. We saw in the Republican primary for U.S. Senate that even against one another, Republicans will do and say anything to make their opponent out to be the devil.

Please pay attention to the issues. Go to tritchforcongress.com and read what Tritch is really about. If you find our present state of politics unacceptable, then change it. Don't just keep sending the same people back to Washington.

DENNIS POWELL

Fort Wayne