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Betting on Bowling - Is it A Good Idea? 7/31/2015

Over the centuries bowling has had a reputation as a gambling sport.

The sport came to the United States in the early 1600s as a lawn game, then progressed to a ball and pin game, but with nine pins. Because there were too many reported incidents of gambling nine pins was barred in most areas.

But some unidentified genius changed the history by adding a pin so that the game became tenpins and avoided the legal barriers.

It seems that every time you turn around a new casino is opened and the push is on to allow more and more gambling on sports competition.

At first glance bowling seems like a natural; you can bet on teams, and individuals and you can limit it down to single balls, games, or even the total strikes, strikes in specific games or number of games, and dozens of other variations.

Gambling on bowling tournaments has been attempted legally in Las Vegas, but has been a dismal failure simply because there never was enough action to make pay the promoters, and handicapping bowlers is much more difficult than it looks.

Yet, bowling tournaments are basically a gamble. However, a huge number of people put up a small amount of wagering money in the form of part of their entry fee, and it can be spread a long way. People seem to get a kick out of betting on their own ability when it comes to bowling where skill is involved and in most cases handicaps help even the playing field.

There has been room for professional bowling, and major tournaments around the world, pro and amateur, have their appeals with prestige, travel, and money and merchandise prizes within limits without the help of gambling on the results.

Bowling rules evolved over the years to insure that equipment meets rigid specifications and all competitions have strict rules. And history has proven legal gambling on bowling has never been a goal of many.

Article was posted with permission from Stars & Strikes, America's Bowling Newsmagazine.

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