- The US Supreme Court says if the federal government wants to ban sports gambling, it has to do it itself:
The Supreme Court agreed to consider [New Jersey’s] constitutional challenge to [1992 federal law] PASPA, and today the court reversed. It explained that the PASPA provision that bars states from authorizing sports gambling violates the anti-commandeering doctrine because it “unequivocally dictates what a state legislature may and may not do.” “It is as if,” Justice Samuel Alito wrote for the majority, “federal officers were installed in state legislative chambers and were armed with the authority to stop legislators from voting on any offending proposals. A more direct affront to state sovereignty,” Alito concluded, “is not easy to imagine.”
The majority acknowledged that the question of whether to legalize sports gambling “is a controversial one” that “requires an important policy choice.” But that choice, the majority continued, “is not ours to make. Congress can regulate sports gambling directly, but if it elects not to do so, each State is free to act on its own.”
The implications aren’t restricted to sports betting, either:
Today’s ruling could also have a much broader reach, potentially affecting a range of topics that bear little resemblance to sports betting. For example, supporters of so-called “sanctuary cities” – cities that refuse to cooperate with federal immigration officials to enforce immigration laws – have cited the 10th Amendment in recent challenges to the federal government’s efforts to implement conditions on grants for state and local law enforcement. Challenges to the federal government’s recent efforts to enforce federal marijuana laws in states that have legalized the drug for either recreational or medical use may also be based on the 10th Amendment.
- I like reading stories about gamblers who beat the system; they combine the thrill of a caper with the reminder that I don’t have the discipline or mathematically oriented mind to do it myself. Bloomberg tells us of the man who worked out how to beat the track:
Benter’s model required his undivided attention. It monitored only about 20 inputs—just a fraction of the infinite factors that influence a horse’s performance, from wind speed to what it ate for breakfast. In pursuit of mathematical perfection, he became convinced that horses raced differently according to temperature, and when he learned that British meteorologists kept an archive of Hong Kong weather data in southwest England, he traveled there by plane and rail. A bemused archivist led him to a dusty library basement, where Benter copied years of figures into his notebook. When he got back to Hong Kong, he entered the data into his computers—and found it had no effect whatsoever on race outcomes. Such was the scientific process.
Even better is the middle-aged Midwestern couple who beat the state lottery:
So perhaps it was only fitting that at age 64, Jerry found himself contemplating that most alluring of puzzles: the lottery. He was recently retired by then, living with Marge in a tiny town called Evart and wondering what to do with his time. After stopping in one morning at a convenience store he knew well, he picked up a brochure for a brand-new state lottery game. Studying the flyer later at his kitchen table, Jerry saw that it listed the odds of winning certain amounts of money by picking certain combinations of numbers.
That’s when it hit him. Right there, in the numbers on the page, he noticed a flaw—a strange and surprising pattern, like the cereal-box code, written into the fundamental machinery of the game. A loophole that would eventually make Jerry and Marge millionaires, spark an investigation by a Boston Globe Spotlight reporter, unleash a statewide political scandal and expose more than a few hypocrisies at the heart of America’s favorite form of legalized gambling.
- People are saying the new Charlie Puth record is good? Charlie Puth??
- Rihanna shows us how to do make-up:
- Wouldn’t it be nice if I could have this skirt?