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Possible Sale of Pittsburgh Steelers Shows Once Again How NFL, Gambling Industry Are Joined at the Hip

According to the Wall Street Journal today (July 8), the Pittsburgh Steelers professional football team might be sold. The team is 80 percent owned by the sons of founder Arthur Rooney, a gambler who was, according to author Dan E. Moldea "the most powerful layoff man in Pittsburgh." In the 1930s, the Rooney family bar was a hangout where local sports booked their bets. While owning the Steelers, the Rooney family went on to own Yonkers Raceway (which has a casino), Liberty Bell Raceway, Continental racetrack, and Palm Beach Kennel Club, a dog track. Now, one of the late Rooney's sons wants to stay in football while some of the other four brothers want to "concentrate on the racetracks and other interests," according to the Journal. The elder Rooney, despite his dubious past, was lionized in Pittsburgh. He died in 1988. Bishop Vincent Leonard, a longtime friend, delivered the eulogy, noting that there was no public clamor to have Rooney canonized. If anyone tried, "the devil's advocates would have a field day for the likes of a man who on his honeymoon, took his wife to the racetrack."

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According to the Wall Street Journal today (July 8), the Pittsburgh Steelers professional football team might be sold. The team is 80 percent owned by the sons of founder Arthur Rooney, a gambler who was, according to author Dan E. Moldea "the most powerful layoff man in Pittsburgh." In the 1930s, the Rooney family bar was a hangout where local sports booked their bets. While owning the Steelers, the Rooney family went on to own Yonkers Raceway (which has a casino), Liberty Bell Raceway, Continental racetrack, and Palm Beach Kennel Club, a dog track. Now, one of the late Rooney's sons wants to stay in football while some of the other four brothers want to "concentrate on the racetracks and other interests," according to the Journal. The elder Rooney, despite his dubious past, was lionized in Pittsburgh. He died in 1988. Bishop Vincent Leonard, a longtime friend, delivered the eulogy, noting that there was no public clamor to have Rooney canonized. If anyone tried, "the devil's advocates would have a field day for the likes of a man who on his honeymoon, took his wife to the racetrack."

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