With a supreme court decision paving the way for expanded legalized gambling, the topic has been all over the place this week.
Not that it comes as any surprise, however, there is a dark side to gambling. One former St. John’s standout and NBA All-Star Metta World Peace (formerly Ron Artest) experienced when he was with the Red Storm, according to an interview he conducted with Yahoo.
“I see the issues with betting. I’ve been approached in college. I got approached a couple times to throw games,” he said said in an interview with Jared Quay. “One interesting time, they come to me in my neighborhood and say, I’ve got $35,000 for you. I said alright that’s cool. I’ll take 35,000. They said, we need you to throw a game. That’s when I’m like, ‘You a–hole.’ But it crossed my mind. Thirty-five thousand dollars? To throw a game? Not bad.”
The question will become if sports betting is legalized on a wider scale, will that do more or less to curtail bad actors from trying to subvert and control outcomes? Legalization brings more regulation, but also a bigger pool of money – though theoretically it would flow toward legitimate operations that carefully monitor irregularities rather than underground ones.
Still, if there’s money to be made, there are likely people willing to work around the law. And they’ll target those who they believe could be tempted the most.
“That’s the problem. When you don’t have no money, they don’t have no money, and they attack them,” World Peace said. “That’s the problem I have with betting because these guys that are betting, they’re bullies. Some of them are bullies. And they’ll force a kid into a situation and then when a kid’s trying to go to the NBA, they’ll hold it against the kid.
“They’ve got to have really harsh rules on people that’s using kids. If anybody gets in that situation, they should snitch and then that person should go to jail because you can not be putting kids under pressure like that.”