U.S. missing out on billions not legalizing sports bets

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WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The NFL season is in full swing. $95 billion will be bet on NFL and college football this year, according to the American Gaming Association. About 96% of that is on the down low, like Charles Enriquez's bet on the Texans game Sunday.

"I've got $100 on the game," he explains from the bar at Buffalo Wild Wings in Pearland, "and I feel confident I'm gonna win." It wouldn't be the first time. He admits he's bet "under the table" before, winning as much as $1000.

It's pretty stupid of the United States not legalizing sports betting anywhere but Nevada and three states who run sports lotteries (Oregon, Delaware, and Montana). We're missing out on a cut of billions of dollars.

"Estimates are that it's up to $400 billion a year," NBA Commissioner explained to ESPN last year. "If it's gonna go on, let's make it transparent. Let's bring it into the sunlight, so to speak, and let's regulate it the same way we do a lot of other industries."

Enriquez agrees, "Why should we have to go to another state or online to bet when Texas could get part of the money?"

The Lonestar and five other states have drafted bills to allow sports betting. So what's standing in the way? For one, the NFL, who says it would hurt the integrity of the game. (Have they forgotten about deflate-gate?)

Anthony Green, another Buffalo Wild Wings patron, worries legalizing sports betting could sully the games, "When you include too much money into it, it takes away the fun. For me, it's all about he fun."

The Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act has banned sports betting since 1992. But that could all change if the congressional hearings proposed by Senator John McCain come to fruition.

Don't scoff! If they can agree on the Iran nuclear deal, anything's possible, right? Until then, good luck with those brackets.