Outspoken Senator John McCain (R-AZ) has joined the growing chorus of establishment voices calling for the legalization of sports betting in the United States.

In a recent interview with ESPN reporter reporter Andy Katz, just ahead of the Super Bowl, the long time politician said:

We need a debate in Congress. We need to have a talk with the American people, and we need to probably have hearings in Congress on the whole issue so we can build consensus.

McCain’s support of a debate on legalized sports betting isn’t all that surprising given his long time love of casino gambling. The Senator is known as someone who isn’t afraid to drop large sums of money at the craps tables, and sometimes has the game table set up in his suite while staying at hotel casinos.

The self-proclaimed Maverick is so fond of gambling, he was recently caught playing video poker on his phone during a Senate debate about whether or no the US should be bombing Syria. Rather than apologizing to his constituents for playing Texas Hold ‘Em on the clock, McCain brushed the whole thing off by saying:

Caught playing iPhone game at 3+ hour Senate hearing – worst of all I lost!

Americans with a predilection for sports wagering shouldn’t get too excited about McCain’s words, which were made just ahead of his home state hosting the Super Bowl. McCain loves making comments like this as way of shoring up his long fading image as a tough, political maverick who doesn’t play by the rules.

What’s really tough, and what McCain is very unlikely to do, is the hard work of actually writing and passing a bill legalizing sports betting.

McCain made absolutely no mention of sponsoring such a bill and it’s unlikely such a bill would be passed into law by America’s notoriously dysfunctional, Do-Nothing Congress anyways.

Nonetheless, it’s refreshing to hear a high profile politician say in public what the rest of us have known for years:

I think that there [are] places for sports gambling in states, where gambling is legal. We obviously know that there are huge amounts gambled on sporting events, particularly football.

Ok McCain, the ball’s in your court now.

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