Limpag: Sports gambling, anyone?

Mike T. Limpag
·2 min read

Gambling on sports events is not legal in this country but we all know someone who has bet on an outcome. Heck, the NBA Finals is a time for such creative bets. I know someone who lost the bet for a game’s outcome but still came out ahead because of bets made for scores per quarter.

Crazy, right? Nah. That’s normal in the country.

So perhaps, is it time we consider legalizing sports gambling in the country?

The Church and perhaps some from the conservative sector may rise up in arms, but come on. Doing so is simply putting what most of us do under regulation. And of course, it could mean another revenue stream for the government, which isn’t bad considering the financial state the country is in, right?

Consider this, the global sports betting market in 2019 was at $85.047 billion, according to www.globenewswire.com, and getting a portion of that pie would be lucrative. I mean, I’m pretty sure some Pinoy sports fans have used their credit cards or online wallets to bet a dollar here or there over a game.

Why not make it legal in the country? I mean, that’s something worth pursuing other than putting up another agency to oversee boxing and mixed martial arts, right?

Would it be expensive in putting up the infrastructure to make it happen? To be honest, I have no idea. But the informal structure is already there, right? Albeit there are some shady characters involved. Remember that case of a fan who threatened a PBA player for taking a shot in garbage time that reduced the point spread of a match?

But if one street from a small municipality can have five small-time lottery outlets, couldn’t those same outlets be tapped if ever the government considers making it legal? So instead of betting for their favorite numbers games, fans can also now make a bet for their favorite PBA team.

And if we want a case study, we can always look at some US states which legalized sports gambling just recently.

I mean, we can’t keep borrowing and letting our grandchildren pay for our Covid-19 recovery. Perhaps we can look for new ways for the government to earn money, and maybe create an industry too, and legalizing sports gambling may not be a bad idea.