Kelly was featured in the following E! News segment last October discussing sports betting.
She also recently wrote the following opinion column for The New York Times…
It’s a Thrill. Let People Enjoy It
As long as I can remember, I loved playing and watching sports. When I moved to Las Vegas and had the ability to bet on them, my passion grew. I worked on perfecting my handicapping craft and began winning a significant amount of money.
Betting on sports gives the game a completely different meaning. Let’s be honest, I would never get up at 10 a.m. on a Sunday to watch the Jags when my team, the Broncos, won’t play until 1 p.m. With $500 on a game I am like a kid on Christmas morning.
Sports betting is a challenge. It makes sports more exciting. It makes you a part of the contest.
Why shouldn’t it be legal? Every state, besides Utah, allows some type of gambling, whether it’s scratch tickets at the gas station, blackjack on a riverboat or ponies at the racetrack. I see no difference in betting on a score. Each state’s residents should be allowed to decide whether to legalize sports betting.
Las Vegas sports books accepted over $3.4 billion in wagers in 2012. Illegal sports betting in the United States is exponentially larger. Unfortunately, sports betting has long been associated with organized crime, but it is time, as with prohibition, for that to come to an end. Just as drug dealers don’t want their trade legalized, the bookies and offshore books don’t want sports betting legalized. Eamonn Toland, president of Paddy Power North America, has said that the “only way to stamp out corruption is to have a legal sports betting market.”
But what about the integrity of the sport? The N.B.A., N.H.L., M.L.B., N.F.L. and N.C.A.A. all hate the idea of betting on their games, but why? They’re afraid the athletes will play differently?
Chris Ault, the former University of Nevada-Reno football coach, was known for telling his team the point spread on a game. “The book thinks you guys get beat by 21 today,” he’d say. He thought that message would make his team play better.
Besides, game lines are readily available on many websites, in newspapers and on TV. You mean to tell me no athletes know the lines prior to the game? And none of them bet on sports? I just noticed the other day that point spreads are listed on my ESPN mobile app. ESPN now has a pay site to sell sports betting plays. If that’s not a sign of the times I don’t know what is.