Bettors remain seated, please

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Coming soon to the living rooms of Mr. And Mrs. Heartland USA, is TVG Network’s Interactive Horse Racing channel, which will allow any palooka smart enough to push the power button enough clout to wager on the sport of kings without stepping down from the La-Z-Boy.

Founded in 1999, with fewer than a million homes watching the horse races, TVG now is seen in 14 million homes and change. Last year it drew in $303 million in bets, which was nearly double the $148 million in nabbed in 2002.

The money was made via either the telephone or the Internet. It was not enough for the growing company, which will introduce its new vice via the Dish Network into 10 million households next month.

While the Federal Communications Commission has blessed this action, the legality of sports wagering in the United States is as murky as the bottom of Lake Arrowhead.

With the partial passage of the Internet Gambling Enforcement Act in the House of Representatives in October, Congress hoped to pull a knife across the carotid artery of illegal wagering in the homes of Mr. and Mrs. Heartland U.S.A.

The legislators did not count on horse players being allowed to use the TV remote as a betting tool, which raises the question: What does this mean for other types of bettors mainly those who wager onother sports?

The answer so far is silence from those in the white halls of Washington D.C., but not from the profiteers in San Jose, Costa Rica.

“If TVG pulls this off, we can’t imagine what it will mean for our business,’ said a man named Steve, who works for NASA Sportsbook, one of the main online betting networks run out of Costa Rica’s capital.

“Americans watch a lot of television, and as far as we see it, this means they will be using it to wager on the NFL and other venues. It’s already happening in Australia and Hong Kong, so why not? The concern we have is that it could seriously cripple our capital.’

Asked how much it would hurt, Steve was reluctant to reveal any situs poker online terpercaya figures.

He didn’t have to. A study conducted by the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department in 2002 revealed how lucrative online sports betting have become for companies such as NASA. In Los Angeles County alone, Internet betting amounts to a $2 billion a yearindustry.

One only can imagine how much that would increase after the electronic wasteland becomes littered with this new device.

If there is an irony in this muddled affair, it is that residents in Nevada will be shutout from the TV betting game. It is illegal for them to gamble online or by television in the privacy of their own homes.