The Breeders Cup, the richest horse race of the year, will be run on Nov. 2. Imagine my horror when I was informed by my online betting provider, Twinspires, that it would no longer do business with me because the state of Maine would not issue it the license to do so. Under a new regulation, the company must get a license and get certified somehow to protect against making off with my account balance. Baloney. Maine just wanted to generate more tax revenue that it could not get from out-of-state betting houses.
I recently moved from Holden to Brooksville, so in order to place a wager I would have to:
1. Drive to Hollywood Slots.
2. Go to Santa Anita and watch the race live.
3. Establish a relationship with an illegal bookmaker.
What should really happen is that Louie Luchini and his band should undo the damage so I can place my bets from the comfort of my iPhone the way I have for the past five years.
All we have to do is follow the money. Maine, the way life shouldn’t be, uses state-sponsored lotteries and casinos to fund everything under the sun and tax the transactions on the way through. The irony is that the odds offered by the lotteries and casinos are stacked against the participants, and no skill is involved in placing the wager. My pal Jeff says it is a tax on the stupid. Atlantic Magazine went further, saying it is a rigged tax on the stupid. Horse racing, on the other hand, is highly intellectual, just a step from the stock market, except that is has the added advantage that you know the answer in two minutes rather than waiting for months.
Get out of the way, and let us have our healthy all-American ability to exchange wealth. And when Louie Luchini asks for your vote, say, “Don’t bet on it!”