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I know the title sounds absurd, but I truly believe sports betting will be fully legal within a few years. I mean, the former host of “The Apprentice” is the President of the United States, so anything is possible. Dream big, kids.
Below you will find my first five betting rule change proposals as part of my initial U.S. Gambling Czar campaign announcement. I will release another five in Part 2 after I hear from you, the bettors, whom I will proudly serve.
Please tweet me (@stuckey2) with any rule changes you think are necessary (and reasonable), particularly in sports that I don’t follow as closely, such as soccer, NASCAR and UFC. Once I am appointed as the inaugural U.S. Gambling Czar, I will only implement new betting rules that don’t egregiously favor either the bettor or book. There are two sides at the window.
ONCE IT’S OVER, IT’S OVER
This particular rule revision mainly applies to rain-shortened MLB games, but can be applicable to other sports if the game is called early due to other extenuating circumstances (see: Seton Hall-Providence recently).
Betting rules currently state that all totals will be refunded if a baseball game doesn’t complete a full nine innings. Just imagine being one of the unfortunate people who wagered on the Over 10 runs in this 2007 Cardinals-Pirates game. The game was called in the top of the ninth inning due to rain, with the Cardinals leading 16-4. Rick Ankiel had seven RBIs, almost cashing the over by himself.
Bottom line, if the game goes over the total, you cash your ticket even if the game doesn’t go the distance. This is just a matter of common sense and fairness. Once a game is over, it can never go under. Bets should be graded accordingly.
OVERTIME UNDER INSURANCE
Is there anything worse for bettors than handicapping an under perfectly, only to see the game find its way to overtime? I’m looking at you, Super Bowl 51. I don’t have all of the operational intricacies worked out just yet, but I’m initially thinking bettors would have an option to pay a few extra cents of juice to buy insurance anytime an under wager is placed. If the over hits after regulation, those who bought insurance get their original bet amount back.
Both sides of the window should be in favor of this change, as it would increase sportsbooks’ edge, while helping bettors avoid tilt. This is similar to taking insurance in blackjack when the dealer has a 10 in the hole (which you should never really do as that bet gives the house a 7% edge).
INTRODUCING: THE MOOSEPOT
This already exists within the gambling industry, as you see casinos offer bad-beat jackpots for poker. How it would work:
Bettors can pay an extra cent of juice every time they place a wager to make that specific bet eligible for the moosepot Now, remember, I am operating in a world in which betting on sports is legal, and thus regulated. An independent advisory board would determine the worst moose (bad beat) each calendar month. If you bet it and also elected to participate, you split the pot with whoever else also did. Sort of like a sports betting lottery, but with moose.
I really could have used the moosepot for my Duke +9 wager in the infamous 2012 Belk Bowl.
BAN LATERAL SCOOP-AND-SCORES
With power comes privilege. And this one is personal, as I’ve been victimized by last-second laterals more times than I can remember. I’m looking at you Redskins-Chiefs.
I propose that only the offense can score after time has expired for bet-grading purposes in football. Even if the NCAA and/or NFL doesn’t agree, this will just be a mandated wagering rule.
In college football, the powers that be changed a similar rule in overtime. If Team A scores first, the ball is dead if Team B turns it over and the game ends. This means that we can no longer see something similar to the greatest moose of all time: USC +7.5 against Arizona State in OT. Not only did ASU score a defensive touchdown after scoring a touchdown, it shouldn’t have been a turnover.
I’m aware this new rule will cause controversy, but I don’t care. You can still have the excitement of the band is on the field. Or a Miami walkoff kickoff return touchdown that featured eight laterals … and four uncalled clipping penalties.
Books should be in favor of this proposal. They usually get hurt by the absurd defensive touchdown scoop-and-score after time has expired that generally tends to help a favorite get an undeserved cover.
READ MY LIPS: NO MORE WITHDRAWAL FEES
Sportsbooks have enough of an edge against most players as it stands already. They don’t need to charge 10 cents of juice AND take 3% of whatever you cash out. Enough is enough. Stop the greed and let the people have the money they earned for free.
Top photo via Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports