The People News, a free newspaper serving Cleveland Tennessee (TN) and Bradley County Tennessee (Tn).





Of Bradley County Tn.


MAY  2005

                            The People News, a free newspaper serving Cleveland and Bradley County Tn.

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SPORTS

You Bet your Life!

By Jerry Keys

We all like the game of chance.  Fascinated with a $1 lottery ticket that may bring us millions.  If we lose, we live to wager a dollar another day.  For some people, that is not the case.

Gambling is a lifestyle.  A much hyped glamorous lifestyle.  We never see the down side of it.  When a bookie welcomes your bet at your wager, it should throw up a flag.


The true amounts wagered on games such as the Super Bowl, World Series or the BCS games are never known, just estimated.  The usual bet is placed and if won, the better gets the wager he offered.  If he loses, he pays not only the wager but 10% of the lost wager as well.  For example, if John Smart places a bet for $500 on the Super Bowl and loses, he pays the $500 and the $50 (10%) "push" as the bookies call it.

The lifestyle of gambling is very seductive, bet a few games, win them all and you can sit at home all week and not put up with that irritating boss.  The downside is that winners are few and far between.  Many families have broken due to this "hobby".

Once a better gets in a hole, they usually try to double up and win it back.  Sometimes it happens, most of the time it doesn't.  A small

Jerry Keys

$100 bet lost can easily progress into $200, $400, $800, $1600.and so on.  And that is not including the 10% "push". 

There are groups across the country that assist with gambling problems,

mainly Gamblers Anonymous, and offer tips on how to combat the disease.  Yes, gambling is a disease.  If you do not believe it, go ask the distraught wife and three children who are living in a cramped apartment and are one miscue away from welfare if gambling is harmless. 

There has long been speculation that gambling has been fixed.  A solid example is when a major college football powerhouse is pitted against a fourth rate team and is favored to win by 48 points.  This means if the better wages money on the major power to win by 49 or more, he wins.  If the major power wins by 47 points or less or loses the game outright, the better loses his wager.  If the team wins by 47 or 49, wouldn't there be some curiosity on how close the spread played out?

There have been scandals in the college ranks in recent years about point shaving.  This is where a player's team is favored by 14 and is asked to keep the spread below 14 but still win the game, therefore benefiting the person who asked the player to shave points, usually a bookie. 

Gambling on any type of game by players is prohibited (yo Pete, ya knew that didn't ya) but will continue to occur in the college ranks because some players feel that they are cheated because they bring fans into the seats but get paid nothing.  I guess a free education, where others pay off student loans for 10 years, is just not good enough.


Gambling is a highly addictive habit that can seem prosperous at first but almost always turns into Medusa eventually.  Wagering two oranges or a box of animal crackers is a harmless event, but most people cannot stop there.  Before long it goes from $100 to their mortgage payment.  And by then it is too late.
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