Tarnished Twenty: Other Sports Archives
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Yes, yes, we've all heard the slogan before -- What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas. And much of what happens in Vegas, i.e., the gambling, can only happen in Vegas. And other places in Nevada. And Atlantic City. And at horse tracks. And off track betting sites. And in fantasy leagues. And pretty much everywhere, to the tune of $95 billion estimated to be gambled just on the NFL and college football this season.

So is it time the United States caught up with other countries and legalized sports betting?

Top 5 Illegal Sports

Normally at Tarnished Twenty we stick to the sports on the field/pitch/court/ice/turf, and we leave the criminal stuff to our FindLaw Blotter blog. But criminal law often overlaps with athletic activities, especially in the context of sports that take place outside stadiums and arenas.

Here's a list of sports you won't find on ESPN and could get you arrested:

Two skydivers who parachuted off 1 World Trade Center were spared jail time on Monday, but got a stern talking-to from the judge in their case.

A jury convicted the men in June and the prosecutor in the case asked for 60 days in jail for each of them. Instead, the judge punished them with fines and community service.

According to transcripts leaked by the National Enquirer, Hulk Hogan went on a videotaped, racist tirade, referring to black people as "f***ing n*****s," and admitting "I am a racist, to a point."

His words were reportedly transcribed from a sex tape at the middle of a $100 million lawsuit he filed against Gawker Media for posting a clip of the sex tape online. World Wrestling Entertainment swiftly cut ties with Hogan, and allegedly began scrubbing references to the wrestler from its website.

Domestic violence, a crime police and prosecutors once considered a family matter, has become a central focus for law enforcement and victim's advocates. The media has shone the most light on domestic abuse involving professional athletes. 

While the Ray Rice incident, with accompanying brutal video footage, might've gained the most attention recently, a new investigation shows that domestic abuse arrests among MMA (mixed martial arts) fighters is twice that of the general population and triple that of NFL players.

Drones: they're not just for delivering beer or the latest Fifty Shades of Grey book. As with just about every man-made invention, they're also for battling.

That great human impulse to see who can outlast the other in the ring of combat has led to Game of Drones, a drone sales and fighting league that's taking aim at the NFL and others. So how does one-on-one drone combat work, and when will we be seeing it on ESPN?

The rise of e-sports, televised video game competitions, has been meteoric. Matches are pulling in 5-figure crowds and players are pulling in six-figure winnings. And when sports start making big money on the field, gamblers will want to make big money off it.

An ex-HP and Microsoft executive is betting big on the future of e-sports gambling. Rahul Sood founded the e-sports betting site Unikrn in anticipation that gambling on e-sports will be legal within two years.

Multiple female speedskaters have accused a member of the sport's Hall of Fame of sexual abuse during the 1990s. Bridie Farrell and Nikki Meyer allege Andy Gabel, who was in his 30s at the time, had inappropriate sexual relationships with them when both girls were just 15-years-old.

Gabel admitted to "inappropriate" conduct, but any criminal prosecution or civil lawsuit may be barred by statutes of limitation, which define the time limit to bring a legal claim. Here's how these statutes work, and how some lawmakers are trying to change them.

After Swedish prosecutors watched video of former Toronto Maple Leafs player Andre Deveaux viciously slash an opponent in pregame warm ups, they decided to file criminal charges and issued a warrant for his arrest. Which, for hockey fans, may have brought to mind an infamous incident in 2000 when Marty McSorley bashed Donald Brashear in the head with his stick (2:50 into the video), giving him a grade 3 concussion.

McSorley was charged with and found guilty of assault, only the second criminal trial for on-ice violence in a league that tacitly approves of players taking breaks from game play to punch each other in the face from time to time. Punching which, to date, has resulted in zero criminal convictions.

So when does playing a sport constitute a crime? And what kind of game behavior crosses the line from acceptable in a sporting contest to unacceptable in any context?

The Final Four tips off this weekend, and some of us are still clutching a red ink-stained bracket, holding out some hope that we can still win our office March Madness pool. While these office pools aren't exactly legal (don't worry - we won't tell if you don't), what kind of sports gambling, if any, is legal in your state?

Here's a quick survey of the sports gambling laws in each state: