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Viewers respond to report on the controversy surrounding sports gambling

March 28, 2015 at 5:13 PM EDT
Hari Sreenivasan reads viewer comments responding to a previous report on the controversies surrounding illegal sports betting in the U.S.
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HARI SREENIVASAN: And now to Viewers Like You: Your comments about some of our recent work.

We heard from many of you about last Sunday’s signature piece exploring whether gambling on sports events should be legalized.

Many of you told us you think it’s a bad idea.

Donna Williams-Terry wrote us: It would be extremely addictive for too many people. More so than regular casino gambling because sports in itself is addictive.

Diane Roman said: Making it legal doesn’t cure the disease.

And Larry Scheller told us he’s seen the harm gambling causes: Legalized gambling was a bad idea from the start! I know two people that have mortgaged their homes and lost them due to their gambling addiction.

Normanium Eldred said: Gambling is basically a tax on the poor and desperate.

Kurt Rex Cooper worried there’d be too much opportunity for corruption.

And William Giegrich called the idea “disgusting, totally disgusting.”

But more of you thought states should try to take advantage of an activity many people are engaged in anyway.

Erik Somoroff said: Make it legal. Not my place to judge, and I’d rather see some revenue for the states come in and be properly managed, of course.

Jason Michael O’Rourke wrote: Tax and regulate. Those that will gamble what they don’t have to lose will do it anyway. The law should never be designed to protect one from oneself.

From Bill Slocum: Like marijuana, legalize it and tax the hell out of it.

Andrew Jones said: It’s legal in other countries that seem to do OK. Like the drug war, driving it underground just makes it harder to control in a reasonable manner.

And finally this from Nathan Engle: Since we apparently can’t even indict the Wall Street gamblers who crashed the global economy, I’m not sure I see the point in persecuting sports fans for putting their money where their mouths are.

As always, we welcome your comments at pbs.org/newshour, on our Facebook page, or tweet us at @NewsHour.

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