American Idol gambling has been very predictable this season. David Archuleta has been the favorite since the finalists have been announced.

In the past few weeks, Syesha Mercado has been defying the odds and saving herself from elimination each and every week. This week, her luck ran out.

Mercado was eliminated from American Idol on Wednesday night, and now the two favorites will go head to head in the finale. Mercado finishes third, not something to be disappointed about.

David Cook has joined Archuleta as the overwhelming favorites to win this season. Both performers have been near flawless in many of the live shows this year. They will have to be perfect to walk away with the title next week.

The finale match up is one that sports books have been predicting for quite a while now. Mercado, while performing well, was still considered a long shot to win the competition.

Next week, Archuleta and Cook will give fans what they wanted, the two most consistent singers from the competition in the finals. Things will get a bit tougher for gamblers also, with both remaining men sharing the favorite role.

Pennsylvania Casino Operators Lobbying For Table Games

Once casino gambling comes to an area, it is hard to stop the momentum that begins to build for full blown casinos. States usually start with slot machines, then gradually increase the game offerings until full blown gambling is legal.

Pennsylvania casino operators are in the middle part of that process. They have already received the right, by law, to offer slot machines and poker, but now they want more.

The operators have asked the House to consider allowing them full table games in their casinos. Blackjack, roulette, and craps, are necessary to help the casinos compete, according to the operators.

The operators are arguing that adding the table games will give them a better chance at competing for gambling dollars with Atlantic City. Without the games, the operators claim they cannot compete.

“Generally speaking, once the door is open to gambling it becomes much easier to argue that you will add something to the mix,” said President of Susquehanna Polling and Research in Harrisburg.

Florida is experiencing the same type of growth. Voters in Broward and Miami-Dade Counties have approved slot machines and poker at pari-mutuel locations. In the time since they have been legalized in Broward, Governor Crist has signed a compact with the Seminole Indians allowing them baccarat and blackjack.

David Archuleta is no stranger to being favored in the American Idol competition. He has been the odds makers choice since the finalists were announced, and continues to be a favorite.

He is now joined at the top, however. David Cook started out the live performances somewhere in the middle of the pack. He has consistently performed at a top level, and is now a co-favorite with Archuleta. Both contestants are +100 to win.

After those two, nobody else of the final six is even in the same zip code, according to sports books. Carly Smithson is the third choice at +1500.

A pair of Idol’s who started out high on the charts, but have slipped in the recent weeks are the next picks. Brooke White, who was in the bottom two last week, and Jason Castro, are both +2500.

The long shot of the season was eliminated last week in Kristy Lee Cook. Now that she is gone, Syesha Mercado assumes the role of underdog. She is holding steady at +5000. The show continues live again on Tuesday night on FOX.

Missouri Lottery Gives $26 Million Towards Education

Gambling can in many ways be a tricky topic to debate. While there are people both for and against legalized gambling in the United States, it cannot be argued that the money that is raised through gambling, is substantial.

Evidence of just how much money can be generated from legalized gambling can be seen in the state of Missouri. The lottery has given $26 million to the Lottery Proceeds Fund.

The money will go towards public education in the state. The most phenomenal aspect of the money that was transferred is that is was only for one month.

The $26 million was in direct relation to the month of March. The total for the fiscal year is $219.8 million. The lottery has been in place for twenty two years in the state, and has created over $3.1 billion.

Education is the main beneficiary of lotteries around the country. Most state lotteries were set up with the intention of raising money that could be used, not only in lower grade education, but also for state colleges.