What’s going on with America’s sports betting world?
Quite a lot, actually. This is an exciting time for American sports gamblers.
It’s been almost 25 years since congress passed The Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992 (PASPA). The act essentially banned sports betting in America. Since then, many have been pushing to legalise sports gambling again.
Sports betting is still illegal in 49 states. But in 2016, experts estimated that illegal betting on Super Bowl 50 exceeded $4 billion. This whopping number jumped up 11% during this year’s Super Bowl.
The truth has never been more evident. Despite the laws, America’s sports betting world is thriving. Americans can’t go a day without seeing or hearing someone discussing the spread on TV or radio.
Could there be significant changes coming down the pike? There is much to discuss on this topic.
If you want to find out more about the current state of America’s sports betting world, read on.
The Not-So-Best Kept Secret: America’s Giant Sports Betting World
Most people don’t realize the sheer size of the American sports gambling industry.
Approximately $4 billion is bet on sports every year in Las Vegas—but this figure only accounts for legal gambling.
Experts estimate that Americans spend anywhere between $80 billion to $380 billion on illegal gambling every year. This indicates that at least 95% of sports gambling in America is illegal.
Based on the numbers, sports betting is a large part of the American culture.
America’s Sports Betting World: The Current Laws
Nevada is the only state where sports gambling is legal in all forms, including single-game wagering. This is a direct result of PASPA.
When PASPA passed in 1992, only 4 states were exempt. Aside from Nevada, the other states were Oregon, Delaware, and Montana.
Delaware still has active sports betting. However, the state limits this to NFL parlay wagers.
New Jersey has attempted to bring sports gambling to its casinos for several years, but it has failed to do so. In fact, several professional sports leagues sued the state.
Additionally, six other states—including Indiana, Minnesota, Mississippi, New York, South Carolina and Texas—considered sports betting bills in 2015. That said, we never saw any tangible results.
One thing that is important to mention is the most controversial piece of legislation concerning gambling since PASPA. What is this piece of legislation? It is The Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006 (UGEI).
The UGEI banned accepting and processing bets in the United States. It crippled the online poker gambling industry.
But where does this leave online fantasy sports, which has skyrocketed in popularity over the recent decade? Are fantasy sports considered gambling?
The federal government currently classifies fantasy sports as a game of skill, not luck. This means it is currently exempt from online gaming law.
Some states are harsher than others, however. For instance, fantasy sports sites such as FanDuel and DraftKings are illegal in the state of Washington.
Additionally, many fantasy sports companies find it too risky to conduct business in Montana, Arizona, Louisiana and Iowa.
Experts estimate that legalising sports gambling would generate almost $12 billion of revenue nationwide. That figure is nothing to sneer at.
But is there any indication that the current sports gambling laws may soon change? The short answer: yes.
The Future of America’s Sports Betting World
The American sports betting world may have something to look forward to very soon. Geoff Freeman, the head of the AGA, refers to it as the “perfect storm”.
So what has many sports gambling experts hopeful about the future? Well, several factors come into play.
A survey from the Sharkey Institute shows that 46 percent of Americans support legalizing and regulating sports gambling. Though 43% don’t think it’s a good idea, the results reveal that a plurality of Americans are in favour of moving forward with legalisation.
But the reasons to be optimistic go far beyond the opinion of the average American. Many professional sports leagues have shown signs of change.
Both FanDuel and DraftKings now have either partnerships or agreements with the MLB, NBA, NHL, MLS, NASCAR, and several NFL teams. While many may not consider these gambling sites, the state of Washington does.
Additionally, Adam Silver, the commissioner of the NBA, came out in support of professional sports gambling in 2014. In September of 2016, David Stern, Silver’s predecessor, stated that he expects sports gambling to be legalised within five to ten years.
All of these developments are spurring optimism in the hearts of sports gamblers. However, the betting world’s real hope lies with those at the top of the political world in the United States. This will be the group of people who ultimately decides the future of the sports betting world.
A congressional committee is currently reviewing outdated federal gambling laws. Many experts expect to see comprehensive reform in the near future.
Though no timeline has been set, there is yet another reason to be optimistic. This optimism has to do with the person in the Whitehouse. This person has a long history of running casinos.
The president of the United States recently spoke with Westwood One Sports Radio about sitting down with commissioners of several leagues and discussing the matter.
In November of 2015, Trump told Colin Cowherd the following regarding the legalisation of sports betting: “I’m ok with it because it’s happening anyway.”
With the support of professional sports commissioners, as well as the President of the United States himself, America’s sports betting world may be entering new territory.
For more than 20 years, most sports betting in America was done illegally. People had to pretend that sports betting wasn’t a multi-billion dollar industry.
However, one thing looks certain: Change is coming. The future of the American sports betting world will be determined within the next few years.
This is an exciting time for American gamblers outside of the state of Nevada. There looks to be a major shakeup brewing in the sports betting world.
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