Alabama Lawmaker Mocks PASPA

Some strange news out of Alabama last week. After the Alabama House met to consider a potential daily fantasy sports bill, an Alabama lawmaker openly mocked PASPA, the federal law that prohibits sports in the United States.

Here’s What Happened

Rep. Alvin HolmesThe Alabama House ended up passing a daily fantasy sports bill on Tuesday, April 18 and the debate was extremely lively and confrontational throughout. Alabama is known to be an extremely conservative state and that holds true on the topic of sports gambling in the state. While it was relatively entertaining from start to finish, one statement made by Representative Alvin Holmes really stands out. Rep. Holmes was quoted as to saying: “I was just sitting here thinking, what big hypocrites we have here in the state legislature, concerning the gambling here. I got the names of members of the legislature that are against gambling, bet every Saturday on Alabama football games and Auburn football games. And I know the bookies that you bet with. Because I bet with them every once in a while.” Holmes went on to explain the hypocrisy of the “gambling is wrong” debate by bringing up the amount of money bet on Alabama and Auburn football games every year saying that people wager “million and millions of dollars” on those teams alone. From there, Holmes got into a back and forth with the Chair of the Alabama House of Representatives.

  • Holmes: “I have never heard you say nothing about it. You know they bet, don’t you?”
  • Chair: “Well, I don’t, so I couldn’t tell you.”
  • Holmes: “You know they bet on Alabama football games, don’t you?”
  • Chair: “Well, who’s they?”
  • Holmes: “The people of Alabama.”
  • Chair: “Are you admitting to a crime?”
  • Holmes: “Well, yes.”
  • (Laughter erupts in chamber)
  • Holmes: “I am admitting to a crime that takes place every weekend.”

While this was an amusing and entertaining exchange, Holmes isn’t wrong when you break it down. Literally, billions of dollars are wagered at “illegal” offshore sportsbooks because the law that is supposed to be preventing this, is flawed. PASPA, or Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act, is the federal restriction of sports betting in the United States (except for Nevada, Delaware and two others with no local betting options). Holmes pointed out what all sports gamblers already know, and that is that PASPA is essentially useless at the moment. He insinuated that even states that have their own sports betting laws don’t abide by them and lawmakers enjoy sports gambling just as much as any other sports fan. I don’t know about you but I think if a group of lawmaking officials are essentially laughing at and admittedly ignoring this supposed “ban” then it’s time for that ban to just be eliminated.

PASPA Has Out Lived its Usefulness

This ban on sports betting isn’t a ban at all. All it does is make it illegal for operations to provide gambling services from in the United States but it doesn’t do anything to the sites that offer betting opportunities to American players from overseas it just limits what sports betting states are allowed in the US. The law is essentially void then as it has no say in any other country. Everybody realizes this fact and that’s been the case for a while now so it’s obvious that PASPA has outlived its usefulness and it is time to get rid of this pointless federal law.