FRUITS, VEGETABLES, AND SPORTS BETTING - Granite Grok

FRUITS, VEGETABLES, AND SPORTS BETTING

Beer Caucus Golf Outing TL, RP, MM, HP (2)

It’s nice to observe the fruits of one’s labors—which brings to mind two state representative friends: Howard Pearl (Loudon) and Tim Lang (Sanbornton). They’re also fellow members of the Beer Caucus—current and former legislators who believe socializing leads to better communication and understanding amongst all parties.

Howard is a farmer and each summer he gazes upon many acres of wondrous vegetable produce—corn, squash, cantaloupes, and pumpkins. How rewarding it must be to look at this beautiful bounty and ponder how so many people greatly benefit from his labors.

(We columnist-bloggers can only “imagine” many people thinking, laughing, fuming or otherwise enjoying the “fruits” of our labor.)

Then there is Tim—truly a rising star in the New Hampshire Legislature. Rep. Lang was the prime mover behind the passage of a Granite State sports betting bill that put us ahead of almost every other state regarding new gaming initiatives made possible by a 2018 Supreme Court decision.

Tim was there with Governor Chris Sununu last December 30 to cast the state’s first legal sports bets at “Shoppers Pub and Eatery at Indian Head” in Manchester. Though their bets on the Patriots didn’t bear fruit for them, the State of N.H. and public education still benefitted from their actions.

Then on September 13 it was back to Manchester for Tim and the Governor for the grand opening of the Filotimo Casino and Restaurant. The establishment is also a charitable gambling enterprise featuring not only table games but a DraftKings SportsBook betting option such as used to be found only in Nevada.

Filotimo owner Dick Anagnost welcomed the Governor and numerous other guests and dignitaries—including Tim—as everyone celebrated the “kick-off” of a new NFL season and a new era of sanctioned sports gaming in New Hampshire. Betting participants emerged from the shadows and into the light to legally wager on football outcomes—now with new protections. And instead of the vigorish going “who knows where?” a percentage of the action now stays in New Hampshire to support education and the like.

But Tim’s labors yielded even more fruit—good paying new jobs to help stimulate an economy rebounding from the COVID pandemic.

“We employ over 100 people here,” explained Anagnost. “And my other establishments employ over 1500 statewide.”

Not everyone embraces gambling, to be sure. Almost any product or activity raises the possibility of some folks overdoing things. But the Governor, the Beer Caucus, and most Granite Staters support individual freedom and personal responsibility.

“Live Free or Die!”

Indeed, lotteries were used to support George Washington’s Continental Army while also paving the way for modern insurance practices.

And having a vested interest in the outcomes of sports events creates fan passion and energy which translate into higher TV ratings and more wherewithal for networks and the NFL—which trickles down not just to the players but to countless other businesses, enterprises, and individuals.

Rep. Lang makes $100 a year as a state representative so his constituents—and all Granite Staters—truly received a great ROI (Return on Investment) after investing their votes in Tim and other like-minded citizen-legislators.

The rewards for these solons are not monetary but intrinsic, as they step back and ponder the wondrous fruits of their labors.

(And maybe someday I’ll somehow author a column that will also make a difference and similarly bear some fruit as well!)

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(Mike Moffett of Loudon is a former Marine Corps officer, state representative, and retired sports management professor.)