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Could John McCain Play a Key Role in Legalizing Sports Betting in America Nationwide?

February 7, 2015

Millions of people in the United States gamble on sports, and not just in Nevada. However, the only place where sports betting is technically legal in America is in the state of Nevada. The bad news is sports betting has been technically illegal outside Nevada for many years. But the good news is we are finally starting to see some progress in favor of the gamblers.

Recently, former Presidential candidate John McCain (R-Arizona) spoke out in favor of legalized sports betting. He isn’t the only prominent figure voicing this opinion, but he just might be the guy that can make the most impact given his role in Congress. A couple of months ago, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver began his quest to get sports betting legalized nationwide. That was in response to New Jersey’s inability to finalize a bill that would have legalized sports betting within the state.

Silver and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie – a potential 2016 Presidential candidate – are two major players in the quest to allow US citizens everywhere to gamble on sports legally. But they’re going to need someone in Washington D.C. to help them out. That’s where John McCain can, for once in his life, be useful.

Why McCain is Speaking Out Now

It’s no secret that most Republicans are against legalized gambling of any type. That’s why a heavily Conservative state such as Texas doesn’t have any form of legalized gambling in the state other than on Indian reservations. So it’s a bit of a surprise to many that McCain – a Republican – is backing the sports gambling community.

But there actually is a reason for his opinion. The Super Bowl took place in Phoenix, which is in McCain’s home state. It seems as if he came to the realization that since millions bet on the Super Bowl regardless of laws, it doesn’t really make sense to make it illegal. If everyone is doing it, why make it illegal?

Now, will McCain actually work to legalize sports betting in America? That remains to be seen. But it sure seems like he’s going to bring a debate to Congress, and that’s a huge step. Online gambling and legalized sports betting hasn’t really been a hot issue in Washington D.C. Politicians have seemed to brush it aside as if they don’t care about it or the opinions of US citizens. So it’s a breath of fresh air when a politician of the stature of John McCain speaks out favorably about sports betting.

McCain did more than just say he feels that sports bettors might deserve their say. He actually said, “we need a debate in Congress”, in an interview with ESPN’s Andy Katz and Rick Klein. That statement right there is the most important comment because it is clear, from that statement, McCain is ready to actually do something other than voice an opinion. Talk is cheap. Actions are all that matter. And right now, John McCain’s actions suggest he is going to play a major role in getting sports betting legalized nationwide, or at least in more jurisdictions than Nevada.

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