Baseball embraces gambling

Hypocrisy regarding gambling is nothing new–as a historical phenomenon, it’s a few thousand years old. But people and organizations keep finding new ways to contradict their stated principles in search of a buck. Don’t believe me? Ask the Boston Globe:

Red Sox fans who play the state lottery now have a chance at the ultimate prize: season tickets for life.

That’s the top giveaway of a Red Sox scratch-ticket game that the Massachusetts State Lottery unveiled yesterday. Players also can win Red Sox cruise packages and jerseys used in games, as well as more traditional prizes of up to $1 million.

Fans will be able to pay $5 for the Red Sox Instant Ticket beginning April 11, the date of the Sox’s home opener. The Red Sox are the first team in Major League Baseball to unveil a lottery game, but several others — including the New York Yankees and Mets — have plans to follow suit.

The games are a result of a deal struck between Major League Baseball and a subsidiary of Scientific Games Corp. of New York to let team logos be used on instant tickets. In the next few years, dozens of teams are expected to unveil lottery games, executives said.

The National Basketball Association, National Hockey League, and NASCAR already have similar agreements with Scientific Games and are featured in some state lottery games. Under the terms of the Sox’s deal, the team will not get royalties from lottery ticket sales, but Scientific Games will pay the team an undisclosed lump sum for supplying the prizes. (The New York Times Co., owner of The Boston Globe, holds a 17 percent stake in the Red Sox.) The Sox also are planning to sell lottery tickets at Fenway Park this year.
State to roll out Sox scratch tickets – The Boston Globe

So it’s OK for teams to put their name on lottery scratchers–one of the worst-odds gambles out there–but putting $10 on the winner of a game is immoral?

Lacking any philosophical or moral objections to gambling, it is difficult to articulate exactly why some forms of it are permissible while others aren’t.

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