Mafia bosses shouldn’t be the only ones profiting from New Yorkers’ billion-dollar-a-year gambling habit. The state deserves a cut, too, Brooklyn District Attorney Charles Hynes said yesterday.
Hynes, a Democrat running for a fifth term in a hotly contested race, called for the state to legalize all sports betting – even as he announced the Super Bowl Sunday arrest of 12 alleged bookies.
The dozen New York City men were charged with running mob-backed illegal gambling rings that pulled in more than $100 million a year, Hynes said.
“This is a cash cow for organized crime,” Hynes said. “This is not a victimless crime.”
Illegal gambling yields $15 billion to $30 billion a year in the city and about $100 billion nationwide, Hynes said.
Hynes said the state could encourage safe gambling practices if sports bets were legal. Nevada, Pennsylvania, Oregon and Montana all have legalized sports gambling.
The legalized-betting stance is new for Hynes, who is facing six Democratic challengers in his bid for reelection.
Opponents argue it would put more people in debt. And sports officials have repeatedly argued against state-sponsored gambling, claiming it tarnishes the reputation of the sport involved.
Even if the state Legislature signed off on legalized betting, it wouldn’t get rid of underground gambling, according to a spokesman for Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly.
“It’s never going to go away,” Capt. Louis Lombardi said. “Bookies are always going to pay better odds than the state. Always.”
RICHARD ENG: Viable long shots for Derby can still be found
It’s only 13 weeks until the 131st Kentucky Derby on May 7 at Churchill Downs.
The Derby purse has been doubled to $2 million. That’s still low considering it’s America’s most honored horse race and an owner will spend more than that on one good Derby prospect.
If you can’t afford a Derby hopeful (don’t worry, neither can I), then maybe a future book bet makes more sense. The logical horses have long been picked over. What I’ll do is pick five horses that are at least 70/1 odds and have a much better chance than slim or none.
First, I’ll list the 10 logical ones: Afleet Alex, Declan’s Moon, Fusaichi Samurai, Galloping Grocer, High Fly, Lost in the Fog, Rockport Harbor, Roman Ruler, Spanish Chestnut and Wilko. These horses are 25/1 odds or less in future books at Bally’s, Caesars Palace, Coast Casinos and the Plaza.
Now here’s my low-flying five at good odds:
- CRIMINAL MIND (100/1) — Privately purchased by trainer Stanley Hough, this son of Cryptoclearance ran a good second to Harlington at Gulfstream. Hough has a legit chance to make the Derby with him.
- MAGNA GRADUATE (70/1) — Ran third in the Aventura to High Fly. Trainer Pat Byrne has yet to turn up the pressure on this son of Honor Grades. He should run a much improved race next time out at Gulfstream. More about Agen Poker Online
- NAUGHTY NEW YORKER (75/1) — Rallied wide to just miss in the Count Fleet at Aqueduct. New York-bred son of Quiet American can run all day for trainer Pat Kelly and may be another Funny Cide.
- SCIPION (100/1) — Ran third in his season debut at Santa Anita. Trainer Patrick Biancone has Spanish Chestnut, but this $1.9 million son of A.P. Indy may develop one day into the better colt.
- VITRUVIAN (75/1) — A son of Belmont Stakes winner Lemon Drop Kid, so distance is no problem. Trainer Bobby Frankel’s been quiet about this colt. He ran two good Belmont dirt races and has a huge upside.
I can’t guarantee the Derby winner among these five. But if each colt improves a little, you stand a shot at this late date of making the Derby field, which, with a high-odds future book bet, is half the battle.