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On January 17, the California Racing Board unanimously approved a new mini-satellite gambling facility near the right field bleachers of Petco Park, the Tilted Kilt Pub and Restaurant, over the objections of the San Diego Padres. According to several racing publications, Caroline Perry, a lawyer for the Padres, argued that "The issue of gambling in and around baseball is of greatest concern. While we understand that this [is] intended for wagering on horse racing, we believe that it will attract bookies that do accept wagers on baseball." But the board said the gambling facility was legal under California law and had met City of San Diego requirements.

Perry said the Padres's opposition stemmed from Major League Baseball's concerns about gambling influencing the sport. Hmm. If the Padres are so pious about gambling, why have those Sycuan casino ads been so prominently displayed in connection with the team? In fact, the Padres and Sycuan have had a symbiotic relationship. As I have stated in several columns, pro sports teams (particularly pro football) historically were founded and financed by gamblers, usually with organized crime ties. This is less true with baseball, but there have been some questionable owners through the years.

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Comments

JustWondering Feb. 16, 2013 @ 8:48 a.m.

It's way more than just television and print ads. Sycuan Indian gaming is one of the Padres BIG top five sponsors, along with Toyota, Anheuser-Busch, Cox Communications and, of course, Petco. I suspect the only reason it's not "Sycuan Park" is MLB would never allow it due to the direct connection with gambling. (Funny how they'll allow corporate sponsorship in certain revenue streams, but not others.) This "doth protest too much" complaint over the proximity of a off track betting site for house racing is a show for the MLB corporate masters nothing more. But since the restaurant/bar is possibly a franchise store, I'd be more interested in knowing who has an ownership interest and potential or possible connection more then anything else.

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Don Bauder Feb. 16, 2013 @ 11:27 a.m.

JustWondering: You ask excellent questions. I just learned about the matter this morning (Feb. 16) and since the decision was a month ago, I posted it without doing any more homework, relying on reports from several horseracing publications. That's often the case with blog items; I want to get them online as soon as I learn the basic details. If I want to do it as a column later, I will look into these matters more deeply. You are right about Sycuan; that's why I said the Padres and Sycuan have a symbiotic relationship. Best, Don Bauder

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aardvark Feb. 16, 2013 @ 10:52 p.m.

JW--it is my understanding that Petco Park was not the Padres first choice for a sponsor; I believe Sycuan wanted their name on the park, but as you stated, it would have been shot down quickly. (This is from my fading memory, therefore I have no link to reference this) On the other hand, Viejas has their name on SDSU's arena, and Barona can sponsor pony leagues (as long as the word "casino" is not used). The casinos do have lots of $$, and at some point down the road, MLB may just decide that since there is no sports wagering in California, having a ballpark sponsored by a casino (that doesn't engage in sports wagering) might not be a bad thing. The likelihood of that happening might be tied directly to the amount of $$ offered to slap a casino's name on a ballpark.

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Burwell Feb. 16, 2013 @ 11:38 a.m.

It would have made more sense to locate the off track betting facility at Sycuan, where the gamblers are. The Petco area is a virtual ghost town. Gamblers aren't going to want to fork over $20 a day to park downtown.

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Don Bauder Feb. 16, 2013 @ 12:46 p.m.

Burwell: You may be right on that. However, I remember that those of us who opposed the ballpark subsidy scam wondered if the Padres had long term plans to permit gambling inside Petco. The Sycuan relationship was one of the reasons we pondered that. I still think that the NFL would like to permit gambling inside stadiums; they have a natural audience on game days. Incidentally, in the early days of the NFL in the 1920s, there was wide-open gambling during games on Sundays. In fact, gambling was the raison d'etre for the league to form. Best, Don Bauder

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aardvark Feb. 16, 2013 @ 10:55 p.m.

Don--doesn't Sycuan already own the U.S. Grant Hotel? They could put a few machines in there.

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Don Bauder Feb. 17, 2013 @ 5:47 a.m.

aardvark: Sycuan at least used to own the U.S. Grant. I assume that it still does. I wondered some years ago whether Sycuan wanted to put slots or other gambling facilities in the hotel. The hotel really isn't that far from Petco, either. Best, Don Bauder

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aardvark Feb. 16, 2013 @ 11:11 p.m.

Burwell--there is already an OTB at Sycuan. The state is slowly expanding OTB's into other areas; mainly sports bars. I know Arizona has done that for quite awhile.

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Don Bauder Feb. 18, 2013 @ 8:12 p.m.

aardvark: Leave it to governments to spread gambling addiction. The excuse is they need the revenue. Best, Don Bauder

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clockerbob Feb. 16, 2013 @ 11:55 a.m.

The gaslamp district needs a casino. Vote for Sandra O'connor as our next mayor.

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Don Bauder Feb. 16, 2013 @ 12:51 p.m.

clockerbob: SANDRA O'Connor? Sandra Day O'Connor is retired from the Supreme Court. You must be making a snarky comment about Maureen O'Connor. She would be the wrong mayor to put a casino in the gaslamp. Gambling has destroyed her life, as it has destroyed so many other lives. Best, Don Bauder

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dwbat Feb. 16, 2013 @ 2:46 p.m.

How about this idea instead? Let Charles Schwab, Edward Jones and the other San Diego stock brokers move next to Petco Park. These are the companies where real gambling takes place! ;-)

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Don Bauder Feb. 16, 2013 @ 7:29 p.m.

dwbat: You've got that right. I've aways thought that in the newspapers, the stock market listings should be right next to the race results. Of course, papers don't run stock lists anymore. I remember 40 to 50 years ago when I was with Business Week, we had no ticker machine, being in an outlying office. So I went down to a brokerage to pick up stuff off the wire, which would be located where the "sitters and spitters" sat. There was a sign: "If you folks don't stop calling our competitors from this phone, we will remove it." Most of the calls I overheard from that phone were to bookies. Best, Don Bauder

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David Dodd Feb. 16, 2013 @ 5:23 p.m.

I'll give you my take: This is a move that the Padres felt they HAD to do. In fact, probably not for the reasons they state, but because Sycuan doesn't appreciate the competition. Truth of the matter is that it only takes 20 minutes to jump on the trolley and cross into Mexico where you can bet all of the baseball games you wish and the vigorish is much more reasonable than a bookie's take. Also, I've bet horses most of my life, many times at satellite outlets, and I have yet to see a bookie at any of them.

Also consider this: While I maintain that betting team sports rarely offers the bettor any value and therefore isn't wise since even the best gambler won't get much of a return on investment, if any, of all major team sports, baseball is the most difficult to predict. Most gamblers that are successful at team sports prefer to wager on basketball games as they are proven more predictable.

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SurfPuppy619 Feb. 16, 2013 @ 6:39 p.m.

Most gamblers that are successful at team sports prefer to wager on basketball games as they are proven more predictable.

Refried, where were YOU when Mayor Mo needed you most?????

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David Dodd Feb. 16, 2013 @ 6:44 p.m.

Ha. I was surprised at the O'Conner story. Shocked, truthfully. It's always the one that you never suspect.

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Don Bauder Feb. 17, 2013 @ 5:54 a.m.

David: But more than a few San Diegans probably were not shocked, because they had an inkling of her problem. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder Feb. 16, 2013 @ 7:37 p.m.

SurfPup: She played video poker, according to press reports. She is an athlete, though -- once taught physical education. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder Feb. 16, 2013 @ 7:33 p.m.

David Dodd: You may be right: the Padres protested to shield Sycuan from competition. I didn't know basketball is the preferred team sport for gamblers. Recently, an NBA referee got sent to the pokey for influencing the point spreads. Best, Don Bauder

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aardvark Feb. 16, 2013 @ 11 p.m.

Don--that referee is now out of said pokey, and is now a spokesman for one of the gambling shows that plays in the morning on one of the local sports radio stations. Surprisingly, he claims to be an expert on the NBA, and also claims to have "inside information" on which teams to place bets on.

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Don Bauder Feb. 17, 2013 @ 5:59 a.m.

aardvark: That is sickening. A ref knowingly makes calls that will affect the point spread, goes to the pokey, gets out in too few years, and then becomes a spokesman for a gambling show. He is supposedly an expert on the NBA with information on which teams to bet on. He should be an outcast, not a TV performer. It shows how far our society has sunk. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder Feb. 18, 2013 @ 8:14 p.m.

JustWondering: There should be no mercy for players, refs, umpires who throw games or influence point spreads. Best, Don Bauder

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tomjohnston Feb. 17, 2013 @ 8:46 a.m.

Where is he back on the air? I know that last summer, he was ordered by a federal judge to stop working on a sports betting-related radio show while on supervised release.

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aardvark Feb. 17, 2013 @ 11:23 a.m.

SP--Tim Donaghy was an NBA referee for 13 years, who went to prison for 15 months starting in 2008 for betting on games that HE WAS OFFICIATING. He was released from prison after serving out his sentence near the end of 2009.

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SurfPuppy619 Feb. 17, 2013 @ 2:43 p.m.

Got it! Never heard of the guy or the scandal, which is not unusual as I do not follow sports anymore....

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Don Bauder Feb. 18, 2013 @ 8:20 p.m.

SP: You may not follow sports but you do follow crooks. You can't follow one without following the other. It's like the old song, "Love and Marriage." Sports and crooks go together like a horse and carriage. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder Feb. 18, 2013 @ 8:18 p.m.

aardvark: As I recall, it was the gambling houses in Vegas that noticed strange calls being made. That led to his getting nailed. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder Feb. 18, 2013 @ 8:16 p.m.

SP: The ref who was making strange calls to influence point spreads on games he had gambled on. Best, Don Bauder

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aardvark Feb. 17, 2013 @ 11:15 a.m.

tomjohnson--several weeks ago, I heard him on whichever so-called San Diego sports radio station carries that crap (I think both 1090 and 1360 do, actually).

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Don Bauder Feb. 18, 2013 @ 8:22 p.m.

aardvark: Maybe his court supervision period is over. Best, Don Bauder

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Don Bauder Feb. 18, 2013 @ 8:15 p.m.

tomjohnston: Somebody else will have to answer that. I have no idea where he is on the air. Best, Don Bauder

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tomjohnston Feb. 18, 2013 @ 8:52 p.m.

Uh, I think that question was answered already by aardvark, to whom my original comment was directed.

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Don Bauder Feb. 19, 2013 @ 9:16 a.m.

tomjohnston: aardvark thought he heard it one of the San Diego sports talk stations. Best, Don Bauder

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tomjohnston Feb. 19, 2013 @ 1:08 p.m.

Uh, yeah, as he had previously said in his reply to my question about a day and a half before you weighed in:

"tomjohnson--several weeks ago, I heard him on whichever so-called San Diego sports radio station carries that crap (I think both 1090 and 1360 do, actually).

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Don Bauder Feb. 19, 2013 @ 1:46 p.m.

tomjohnston: Yes, that was his post. Best, Don Bauder

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