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As it currently stands, there are seven states that allow sports betting, with two of those seven allowing it online. Those seven states include Delaware, Mississippi, Nevada, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and West Virginia. The two that allow betting online are two of the biggest casino states in the country, Nevada and New Jersey.
Here, we will examine essentially every facet of sports betting in the United States, starting with the history of sports betting and concluding with the future of legalized sports betting in the U.S.
Sports Betting Regulation History
Following the conclusion of World War II, gambling started to become prohibited all over the country, except for Nevada, which made it a unique state. In 1961, the Interstate Wire Act was enacted which was meant to eliminate the use of wire communications to “assist in the placing of bets or wagers on any sporting event of contest.” Fast-forward to 1979 and the Seminole Indian tribe got into the casino business, opening a facility that same year. Legislation really took a turn to the negative when PASPA was passed in 1992.
More recently, everyone might be familiar with PASPA, which is the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act. This was the 1992 law that was overturned to open to the doors to the legalized sports betting regulations we have today. However, back then the purpose was to stop sports betting, with Oregon, Nevada, Oregon and Delaware being grandfathered in. In 2014, the state of New Jersey voted against its anti-gambling laws.
In the Spring of 2018, on May 14 to be exact, the Supreme Court ruled PASPA to be unconstitutional, allowing states to open the door to regulated sports wagering.
Evolution of Sports Betting
When it comes to gambling, money plays a huge role, as well as public perception. Seemingly, the view of sports gambling has changed over the years as the public opinion has shifted. However, people do in fact enjoy gambling in hopes of that unicorn-like experience of winning. Excess income can lead to gambling for fun, and the lack of money can provide those in that situation with hope they’ll be taken care of with a win.
Sports leagues have made their opinions known about sports gambling throughout the years. Perhaps the most notorious case for sports gambling issues came way back in 1919, which is now referred to as the Black Sox scandal. This made integrity a top priority. Issues have arisen over the years in College sports as well with Boston College players involved in a points shaving scandal in the 1980’s. The Northwestern football program also experienced a “game fixing” scandal in the mid 1990’s.
Overall, it seems like the states and people in general are willing to accept the good with the bad when it comes to sports betting. Why is that? First and foremost, increased tax revenue. No-brainer. The American Gaming Association estimates an additional $26 billion being generated with legalized gambling. Estimates also include $5 billion to the general economy of states, 152,000 jobs and $7 billion in wages.
Betting Support from Professional Sports?
When PASPA was first being enacted, leagues supported it, but now in 2018, with public opinion being in favor of it, leagues have become more flexible, exploring ways to implement it to satisfy all parties involved. Specifically, the NBA and commissioner Adam Silver have been advocates for it. For Silver, it’s about fan engagement, while wanting to enact effective regulations to protect the integrity.
The NFL has been all about the integrity since day one, but with PASPA being overturned, they wasted no time in stating their intent to lobby Congress for a slice of the pie. For the MLB, they’ve had an actual scandal unfold, albeit years and years ago. In 2017, commissioner Rob Manfred spoke about it saying he is seeking “to meaningfully engage and shape” the new regulatory scheme.
No surprise, the NCAA has been a staunch opponent of legalized gambling. They’ve even gone as far as to not run ads for DraftKings and FanDuel during their championship games. There is a shed of hope, though. Recently, NCAA President Mark Emmert said he was having “active discussions about the issue.”
Status of Legal Sports Betting
It’s been around since 1949 and is not going away. They’ve enjoyed benefits of not only bringing in more money to the state, but it’s helped numerous entertainment industries blossom. The “Vegas Blueprint” is the main goal for many states.
First legal sports bet was made on June 14, 2018. Online wagering began in July of 2018.
Legalized in 2017. Casinos are allowed to use temporary spaces before they get a fully functioning facility. The state law permits “by any system or method” including the internet.
Moved quickly after PASPA was overturned. Online wagering limited only to licensed facilities.
Legal and operating with land-based sportsbooks.
Operating land-based casinos, but no sportsbooks. Legislation introduced for sports betting, but nothing has been passed yet.
Numerous land-based sportsbooks. Nothing online.
DraftKings and FanDuel Sportsbooks
With sports gambling becoming legal, daily fantasy sports have benefitted. The two most notable are both FanDuel and DraftKings, which actually have their own sportsbooks out in the sports gambling world now.
DraftKings Sportsbook is in association with Atlantic City’s Resorts Casino.
FanDuel Sportsbook is in association with the Meadowlands in New Jersey. Also, FanDuel was bought by the European gaming company Paddy Power Betfair, expanding its potential global reach.
The 2 leading DFS sites should be given some credit for helping to push the proverbial betting rock down the hill with their estimated $500 million TV ad spend in 2014-2015 that built the DFS industry.
The Future of USA Sports Betting
With this evolution, sports betting could infiltrate more avenues and expand opportunities for advertisement. For example, there have been rumblings for Buffalo Wild Wings to bring sportsbook action into the restaurant. Overseas, we could see sponsorships from betting companies and become integral parts of other pro sports leagues.
Recently we have seen the NJ Devils sign a deal with William Hill sportsbook that will allow betting odds to be posted within the arena. If we had to point to one action that may dictate the future trend of sports betting in the U.S., this is it. Pro teams need people to purchase tickets. With attendance across all major sports, the addition of potential sports betting options, ads, in-game bets and in arena contests are certain to increase very soon.
JUST IN: @WilliamHillUS signs sponsorship deal with @NJDevils. Prudential Center will have lounge that looks like a sports book, with TVs and odds boards. No kiosks or windows allowed, but live bets can be made through company’s mobile app. pic.twitter.com/6GicfqkuRV
— Darren Rovell (@darrenrovell) October 25, 2018
Whatever way you want to cut it, sports betting is become more and more lucrative every day.