In this week’s cover story about the state of local daily newspapers, we mentioned New York Daily News owner Mort Zuckerman’s idea to allow sports gambling on his newspaper’s website.
In an interview with Forbes business magazine earlier this year, Mort said, “There is something that can be done [to save newspapers], and the federal government ought to do it: allow sports betting on newspaper websites.”
“Plenty of British papers do this; for them it’s a crucial part of their net revenue stream,” he continued. “I know a major newspaper in London that makes $15 million a year from sports betting alone.”
Well, as strange as that idea sounded, there’s actually an effort underway in Washington that could eventually allow it to happen.
Massachusetts congressman Barney Frank has proposed a bill that would legalize internet betting by eliminating federal law that prevents banks from sending cash over the web to pay for gambling. Frank has also asked the Treasury Department to hold off on enforcing the ban.
“I would repeal that impediment,” Frank tells the Voice. “Now, there may or may not be state laws that prevent it, but the federal restriction would be removed.”
So, take heart, Mort. You may indeed one day be able to make money on the Jets and the point spread.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on October 2, 2009