by Dave Mindeman
Rep. Pat Garofalo is a fan of gambling. At the moment, his passion seems to be about legalized sports betting. His twitter account is replete with gambling odds, spreads, and predictions. It isn’t too much of a stretch to say that Garofalo probably gambles a bit himself.
Which makes it a little troubling that with all the problems that the state has in play right now, Garofalo wants the State of Minnesota to prepare for the sports betting boom that is about to come.
Rep. Pat Garofalo, the chair of a jobs and energy committee at the Capitol, said Minnesota should act now to have the legal infrastructure in place in case the court deems the federal ban unconstitutional. With a legal framework in place, sports betting in Minnesota will be properly regulated and taxed and not left to an overseas gray market, he said.
“If the Supreme Court removes the ban, and if we do nothing, the offshore sports books will flood social media and scoop up bettors who think they are regulated, legal and taxed,” he said.
He’s worried about losing those “bettors”. Maybe he should be a little more concerned about “losing” period. Minnesota has legalized gambling. The Indian tribes have casinos all over the state. Which, incidently, Pat Garofalo will protect….
“I won’t submit a sports gambling bill the tribal casinos are opposed to,” Garofalo said. “Nonnegotiable.”
I doubt it is respect for the tribes that motivates him on this….more likely it is the powerful lobby they represent.
Garofalo talks a lot about sports gambling, but he speaks much less about gambling addiction problems and the societal issues that result. When you hear about people embezzling from their places of employment, gambling is a major reason. When addictive gambling takes hold, it destroys families.
Pat Garofalo doesn’t seem to take that point seriously enough – he is driven to bring in that gambling revenue. He likes it….surely, everyone will get on board.
Funny – but Garofalo is pretty much the only driving force on this. He has made it a personal aspiration; convinced for some reason that the State of Minnesota “needs” this.
But they don’t. Gambling can lead to an addiction that ruins people. We have enough gambling – sports gambling already has its place – people still bet on games. But we don’t have to make it easier by giving Minnesota a gambling industry to worsen the problem.
Buddy the sports betting dog can continue his predictions without putting Minnesota at risk of more betting problems.