Thousands of scared Irish women without options fly to England every year to get an abortion, largely thanks to the Irish Catholic Church’s war on reproductive rights. But things are changing. For women across the country, shame and intimidation are no longer enough to stop them from speaking out about abortion, contraception, and sexual equality.
The United States has done a terrible job of managing its vices. There’s the ongoing disaster that is the War on Drugs, there’s our undedicated take on the sex trade, our legacy of alcohol prohibition, and—our topic today—the idiotic, confused, “pretend it’s not happening” approach to most forms of gambling.
While Indian and state-run casinos have popped up, nothing much has been done to address illicit sports betting, whose volume has been conservatively estimated at a shit-ton of money. Americans bet over $12 billion on this year’s NCAA men’s basketball tourney; about $10 billion changed hands for the Super Bowl. Las Vegas sees a $100 million jump in March for the tourney, and the rest is underground.
Compare this to the UK and Ireland, where there’s basically a betting shop on every block. It’s a highly-regulated industry there, and it’s no big deal: Anyone from your grandmother to your priest to your grandmother’s priest can lay a bet on the game. I sat down with Justin Goldman of BetDash, an English social gambling site, about how it’s different over there.
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