Sports betting is everywhere

Last year, Las Vegas sports books collected $828 million in football wagers, which included both the National Football League and college games over the course of both seasons, according to the Nevada State Gaming Control Board.

Gamblers wagered about $80 million on last year’s Super Bowl game between the New England Patriots and Carolina Panthers alone, said Robert Walker, the director of race and sports betting for MGM Mirage casinos.

But Las Vegas represents just a fraction of sports betting in the country, said Walker, of MGM Mirage casinos.

“I believe that if there’s, say $100 million wagered on the Super Bowl here, there’s probably $500 million wagered off-shore,” said Rick Allec, general manager of the Las Vegas-based Internet site www.donbest.com, which ranked North Carolina as its most prosperous state. It does not offer online gambling.

National Basketball Association players must undergo a training seminar when they enter the league on issues facing players, said Scott Leightman, vice president of public relations for the Charlotte Bobcats.

Part of the seminar addresses gambling, he said.

“Obviously, we have policies with conjunction with the league, we don’t support gambling,” Leightman said. “It is part of our contract, but like any other team policy, we don’t get into specifics (with the media).”

Betting on sporting events, even office pools or friendly wagers, are out-of-bounds under North Carolina laws, District Attorney Mike Lands of Gaston County said.

“North Carolina law is pretty general – you can’t gamble,” Lands said. “A lot of people think you can.”

But at the same time, prosecution of such cases are rare. Lands compared Judi Qq gambling with a poker game between friends – both are illegal, but unless police receive a complaint, law enforcement can do little to stop it.

Lands couldn’t recall a case in Gaston County …