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NJ Has It, Why Not Oscars Betting In Nevada?


Kevin Winter/Getty Images

Rami Malek accepts the Academy Award for actor in a leading role for his performance in Bohemian Rhapsody.

The Oscars are over. Cooper and Gaga did their amazing duet--which, by the way, they did first in Las Vegas as a sort of practice--and the best of the best were chosen.

The best of the bets are also in.

But not in Nevada.

New Jersey, which only last year legalized sports betting in May 2018, took bets on who would win Best Picture. And here's the headline one day later from the Philadelphia Inquirer: "In New Jersey, gamblers made bank on "Green Book" and other Oscar bets".

John L. Smith says it's high time Nevada got in on the act and should have done this long before New Jersey.

“In keeping with a long tradition in Nevada that sports betting was sports specific… but obviously let’s face it – times have changed. In the repeal last May of the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act, it enabled sports betting to go state by state nationwide. It’s been spreading, more or less, like wildfire.”

Smith said it was wise of New Jersey to allow betting on the Oscars and it was an "easy layup" that Nevada missed.

“It’s a once a year event. It’s a lot of fun. It’s bound to attract attention and it’s something, in my opinion, Nevada should have done first.”

Now, in the post-PASPA world, Smith believes the "sky's the limit." And that could mean betting on political campaigns.

Support comes from

“How can you not? Once you’ve told the world that sports gambling is okay, gets the seal of approval. Let the horses out of the barn,” he said.

Vaccine List Bill

Smith also says a bill to create a list of children who are not vaccinated in Nevada is being received well by state lawmakers. The bill comes in light of measles outbreaks around the country, especially in areas where children have not been vaccinated. The most recent was in Washington state.

The list would be used, Smith said, to inform parents with children who have not been vaccinated to stay at home in case of a disease outbreak.

Opposition to the bill is based on fears it would create a database of people and invade privacy. There were also some people expressing fear that vaccinations can cause health problems.

But those opposition voices were nothing compared to the people who addressed the Legislature in favor of the bill.

“You counterbalance that with this amazing outpouring of health and  medical providers from all walks of Nevada who came out in favor of basically bringing these lists to a kind of compliance where if there is an outbreak those lists are available so people can be segregated from a population so they don’t their own epidemic at a school,” he said.

The problem, Smith noted, is that in some school districts in the state a child's vaccine status is often no more than a "sticky note" in their file.

“It is basically trying to bring the standard of information up where in case of an emergency it is accessible in real time rather than just kind of a wild guess about who is and who isn’t vaccinated.”

The Centers for Disease Control say problems from vaccinations, such as an allergic reaction, are very rare.

Political Activity of Labor Union 872

Labor Union 872 is part of the effort to recall Las Vegas City Councilman Steve Seroka. It has also filed a 28-page lawsuit against the city, Seroka and City Councilman Bob Coffin.

All of this is connected to the dispute between the owner of the former Badlands Golf Course and the people who live on the course about whether housing could be built on the property.

“The Laborers have made no secret of their support of that development. They are supporting the ouster of Seroka saying he betrayed his constituents in his ward… They are also very focused on job growth in that union. That’s the main argument that Tommy White, the head of that union, likes to discuss with people,” Smith said.

Smith said the union has teams of people out in the community collecting signatures and Smith said White told him they're going to have enough to trigger the recall process.

As for their lawsuit, it is one of dozens of lawsuits in this case. They're basing it on the loss of job opportunities but, “whether it sticks or not, it looks more smoky than fire, we’ll put it that way," Smith said.



John L. Smith, State of Nevada contributor

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