Arizona Wants Legalized Sports Betting…But Only “For The Children"

Arizona Wants Legalized Sports Betting…But Only For The ChildrenIt’s a tiresome argument in the political world, and it’s one of the most broken records in all aspects of governance: We need X “for the children.” In Arizona, which hasn’t yet put forth any legislation to make sports betting formally legal in the state now that PASPA has been overturned by the Supreme Court, that seems to be – as usual – the overwhelming sentiment of the few congresspersons who have spoken up for legalized sports betting in the state.

“Education” is the platform that seems to drive many states’ gambling and lottery policies, namely that all proceeds “go towards” this industry. Per Arizona state senator Sonny Borelli (R, 5th District), who conditionally supports sports betting in AZ: “We’re sending all of our money to other states right now on sports betting.” That’s valid enough, given that Arizona sits right next door to Nevada, where sports betting has been legal for decades.

But the impetus, at least for Borelli, is strictly “for the children.” Borelli wants to use the increased taxation revenue that sports betting would generate to create more income for teachers! After all, these VIPs are demanding a 20% pay raise, which would cost the state some $600 million annually. And while Borelli thinks that sports wagering income wouldn’t cover all of that, he believes that it will put a big dent in the shortfall. The state, he says, simply doesn’t have the money to pay for education otherwise. Why there isn’t some compromise in the state’s outlandish $64 billion yearly budget to cut superfluous programs to pay for this all-important indoctrination system is a mystery, but – for whatever reason – sports betting is the answer. “For the children.”

Hilariously, “for the children” is also the counter-argument to the legalization of sports betting in Arizona, or why other congresspersons don’t want the activity made available within AZ borders. Senator Dave Farnsworth (R, 4th District), is also desperately concerned “for the children.” Farnsworth says that “[w]e have so many things eroding families in Arizona and the very moral character of our society that more gambling is the last thing we need.” Because, after all, if you bet on sports, you’re setting a bad example for your kids, taking food out of their mouths, and basically torturing them to death physically and psychologically to feed your dangerous, out-of-control addiction, you scumbag. Please – please! – think of “the children.”

Perhaps Arizona – which, make no mistake, will eventually pass its own sports betting regulations to legalize the activity in the state – should forget about “the children” for a minute. It’s a tired, worn-out trope. Every adult consideration – i.e. actual political topic – seems desperately, emotionally tied to “the children.”

Heck, the state’s governor, Doug Ducey, bloviates endlessly about hemorrhaging billions of dollars “for the children.” He even advertises his yearly budgets thus: “This budget is balanced, it’s values-based and it tackles our greatest challenges. It makes critical investments in K-12 education [and] child safety…”

The state lottery (which is a far bigger drain on poor, “immoral” people’s finances than sports betting ever could be, as it has an effective 0% payout rate for players) boasts about its contributions to education, “for the children.” Indeed, $40.18 million of AZ’s latest $198 million lottery haul went to “Arts and Education” in the state. Of course, that means that even in this gambling industry where the endless argument is that it’s “for the children,” schools and child-development programs get only 20% of the revenue. The rest isn’t really advertised.

So the question is, once we dispense with the obvious pandering, emotional, and ultimately empty nonsense that is “for the children,” where do legislators like Borelli and his ilk plan to spend the rest of the cash that legalized sports betting would generate? And why, with so much money coming in “for the children” from other schemes, does any of this new windfall need to be earmarked “for the children”? After all, the birthrate in Arizona is at its lowest since 1980, and it has been dropping steadily for the last decade. There are fewer children in Arizona than ever (relatively speaking), and yet the education racket needs more money than ever “for the children”? Bah.

Hopefully, if AZ actually legalizes sports betting, they’ll put the tens of millions (if not hundreds of millions) of dollars it generates each year into more meaningful, useful, societally pertinent programs than these organic drone factories run by unqualified dolts.

Better yet, maybe Arizona shouldn’t tax sports betting at all.

Of course, then it wouldn’t be allowed to exist (legally, at least). knows that if you want to make sure your money isn’t wasted when you’re betting on sports, maybe it’s just best to use a legal offshore sportsbook (Bovada, BetOnline, etc.). At those sites, zero percent of your money will be earmarked “for the children,” and you can bet with confidence knowing that some stranger’s neglected brat isn’t being used as a prop to fleece your wallet.

Bovada Sportsbook