I haven’t been following the alleged gambling ring “scandal” surrounding Phoenix Coyotes (NHL) assistant coach Rick Tocchet and Janet Jones, Wayne Gretzky’s wife, among others. Frankly, I don’t see the big deal. It’s against the law, I get it. But the states involved run lotteries. With such hypocrisy, I don’t need to go further and rely on principles. But since I happen to enjoy principles, why not? Where’s the victim? Without a victim, where’s the crime? I haven’t heard of anything resembling broken kneecaps or even threats resulting from the alleged gambling ring. Perhaps I’ve missed them, but without a victim, and violating someone else’s moral code doesn’t count, the sin police need to get over it. State and federal legislatures need to decriminalize it and move on to real issues.
Now that I’ve finished ranting, this aspect of the case reveals how myopic some folks are:
A handful of NHL players have been implicated in the ring, authorities say, but none has been identified or charged. Strictly speaking, it is not a crime to place a bet, but NHL players would be violating league rules if they wagered on hockey games. There is no evidence of wagering on hockey, according to the federal prosecutor investigating the allegations on behalf of the NHL.
The only people who’ve committed a crime are the people running the ring. Where’s the reasoning in that? He who sucks another into “immoral, destructive” behavior is guilty? Ridiculous. Gambling will happen with or without state approval, as evidenced by the allegations, should they be true. It would make more sense to let that happen in a business that pays taxes than in a business that wastes police resources. Legalize and increase tax receipts. Criminalize and increase expenditures.
Public service may be noble, but it’s far from intelligent, apparently.