The Rise of Legal Sports Betting


Patrick Connolly,/Las Vegas Review-Journal @PConnPie

Shane Morgan, Writer

Throughout history, spectators have placed bets on sporting events worldwide. In America, gambling on sporting events has become one of the most popular things to do for spectators of any given game. According to a report by Bloomberg, even though millions of Americans placed bets nationwide the majority of the bets placed were done illegally. After the Supreme Court struck down The Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act in May 2018, states began to pass gambling laws, as Las Vegas, Nevada was no longer the only legal state for sports gambling. As stated by ESPN, so far, five states have legalized sports gambling.

According to the American Gaming Association, sports gambling is projected to be a 150 billion dollar business in its first year. The American Gaming Association is a company that works with the US Casino Industry and works to reduce restrictions on gambling. This projection was based on a 1999 government study on illegal gambling where they estimated $80 million was bet. By using gross domestic product growth, the company found their way to their projection for legal bets placed in 2018-2019. After the first year, the profit of the business can be used to determine multiple years to come and companies won’t have to make projections based off of something done twenty years ago.  

Since becoming legal, websites like Draftkings and FanDuel have created apps dedicated to sports gambling. When sports gambling was first announced, these same apps could not be used for mobile bet placing; betters had to visit a casino or a racetrack to place their bets. Now, through the addition of handheld sports bet placing and the fact that sports fans don’t need to leave their homes to make money, the business’s income will grow exponentially.

With record-breaking sporting events in the upcoming months like the Super Bowl, the World Series, the potential Mayweather Vs. Pacquiao boxing rematch, and many other blockbusters, many states have rushed to push through legislation due to the many bets that will inevitably be placed. Blockbuster events like these only come around once a year so the casual betting fans of these sports will look to place large bets on the games as the season is ending. As more bets are placed on the sports game, more fans will be intrigued to join in on the betting action. In the first months of legalized gambling, betters will look to make as much money as possible as quickly as they can, which will, therefore, help the sports gambling industry. For the first time, the competition will be just as important off the field as it is on the field.