Two years after a landmark decision by the US Supreme Court, the legal sports betting market in the country is teeming with excitement. The growth spurt not only exceeded past projections but also altered relationships between major sports leagues and the top gambling operators.
Over $20 billion is wagered legally every year since the Supreme Court abolished PASPA, which restricted regulated sports betting activity in the nation save for Nevada, for the last 26 years. Eighteen US states have already regulated the domestic sports wagering industry while sixteen others have active Bills pending approval.
Over half of all US states are projected to offer some form of legal gambling opportunity within the next couple of years. Online gambling is the next major breakthrough in the industry and 12 states have already regulated the activity. Of the $4.6 billion wagered in the state of Tennessee in 2019, 84% of the amount arrived from online casinos.
According to an independent study of professional sports leagues and gaming operators in the states, a growth spurt in the online sports betting fraternity is unmistakable. The major players in the market are changing too with FanDuel and DraftKings slowly climbing up the charts.
As the industry grows, so do instances of problem gambling. The National Council of Problem Gambling fears the states aren’t considering the negative impacts of gambling addiction in their effort to promote gambling revenue. According to the official study, over nine states did not dedicate funding to problem gambling services.
As the major sports leagues continue to take up the majority of stakes in the gambling industry, it falls on them to promote safe gambling practices. Especially considering their higher reach and resources at their disposal. A few top media houses like Fox and Barstool Sports are contemplating launching in-house sports betting platforms, while ESPN and CBS have already established their presence in the domain in partnership with Caesars Entertainment and William Hill in the US respectively.
Evolving US legislation will play a key part in accelerating sports betting initiatives in the country, in a bid to mitigate losses suffered during COVID-19. A combination of population size and demand for sports betting could soon make the US the most lucrative market for iGaming services, taking over the crown from Europe. And the major players from the other side of the pond are aware of the possibilities.
Like the original gold rush, the incoming rush among fortune seekers increases competition while the depth of the mine is unknown. European gambling companies were last interested in the US market a decade back right after the economic depression when a range of high-ranking officials was burnt for running a scam in the US by offering online gambling services from the Caribbean.
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