• Legal Sports Betting?

      That’s what Bill O’Reilly wants to talk about tonight.  His producer e-mailed me these questions:

      1.  Should it be legalized?

      2.  Should there be more casinos?

      3.  Is it a legit way for the government to raise more tax revenue?

      Maybe Bill plans to ask President Obama about it when he interviews him at the Super bowl game.

      My answers:

      1.  Yes.

      2.  There should be freedom. Only the market "knows" if there should be more casinos.

      3.  I suppose, but the last thing government needs is more revenue. I don't WANT government to get bigger, even at the expense of people dumb enough to gamble. Just get the government out of it. Let people gamble if they want to.

      In the U.S., the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006 prohibits credit card companies and banks from financing online gambling activities.  Gamblers have found ways around the law – third-party wire transfers, off-shore accounts, escrow services... I can’t imagine how much money America has lost because of this dumb law.  There are now 2,500 non-US online gaming sites.

      Currently, betting on sports is legal only in a few places in the USA.  A special Federal law banning it passed in 1991  (exceptions were made for Nevada, Delaware, Oregon and Montana, which allowed some sports betting at the time and were grandfathered in.  Today, Delaware and Oregon no longer allow it.  Montana limits it.)

      Last Tuesday, New Jersey’s Legislature passed a bill to legalize online gambling.   New Jersey has filed suit against the Federal Government. As State Senator Ray Lesniak put it: "To allow betting in Nevada and three other states is discrimination against the rest of the states.” Good luck to New Jersey. Allowing consenting adults to bet is part of freedom.

      Yet half of the states ban “social gambling,” i.e. a game between friends. That’s nuts. I bet on every football game every weekend (I bet with a friend so I don’t pay a bookie’s 5%).  More Americans (est. 50M) play poker – more than those who play golf or tennis. Okay, gambling hurts some people.  But if we ban things because some people are hurt, why don’t we ban alcohol? Smoking? Fatty foods? Sex? The stock market?

      Focus on the Family complains gambling is the “art and science of deception.” So what?  So is filmmaking.  Poker is a game – deception/bluffing is part of the skill.

      Finally, politicians who ban betting are hypocrites, since 43 states run lotteries. State lotteries are the worst form of gambling.  They prey on poor people and give horrible odds.  States take as much as 50% of the money. Yet the states ADVERTISE their scam: “Add millions to your jackpot!” And, “Now get out there and play!” Disgusting.

      TAGS
      Fox News Appearances
      Gambling
  • This Week's Show -- July 10, 2014

    MEDIA BIAS: When I began my career as a consumer reporter, I had an obvious agenda: Businesses cheat consumers! Government must regulate them! But when I wised up about the problems with government, my bosses resisted, and I stopped receiving Emmy Awards. Emmys reward liberal reporting.

    CENSORSHIP AT CBS: Investigative reporter Sharyl Attkisson has a similar story. She explains why she left CBS after it became "harder and harder to get stories on television" that criticized this government and "any powers that be."

    IS STOSSEL BIASED?: Years ago, journalist Howard Kurtz criticized me for not being objective. I said it's impossible for any journalist to be completely objective. Now that Howard Kurtz is on Fox, we debate again.

    THE OBJECTIVITY MYTH: Andrew Kirell of Mediaite.com says, "every journalist has a point of view and they don't just magically check it the minute they walk in the newsroom door."

    NEW MEDIA: Reason TV's Remy Munasifi uses music videos and parodies to complain about things like politicians' spending. One of his latest parodies highlights the scandal surrounding the VA hospitals. Munasifi discusses his videos, which have gone viral on YouTube.

    RETRO REPORT: It's great there's a new media organization called Retro Report, which reveals media hype of the past ("crack babies," America's landfill "crisis," the "superpredator," etc.) and corrects stories everyone in the media got wrong. I discuss the new show with its executive producer, Kyra Darnton.

    REAL OR FAKE?: Sometimes people in the media say things that are so bizarre, you'd think they were made up. Kennedy of The Independents quizzes FoxBusiness.com's Kate Rogers, Fox Business host Charles Payne and me to see if any of us can tell which quotes are real, and which were made up by my staff.

    MY TAKE: I used to report on lots of scares. CBS even ran an ad for me where someone called me a "guardian angel."

    That's bunk. The only guardian angel is a free and open society. That's what allows innovation, gives people longer lives, and lifts billions out of poverty. But these gradual improvements aren't newsworthy. Scares and disaster make the news.

    News is broken not just because we're biased but because most good and important news happens slowly.

    9PM ET on Fox Business Network