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The Washington Independent
The Washington Independent

The legalization of sports betting in the US keeps moving forward

The legalization of sports betting in the US keeps moving forward

The legalization of sports betting activities in the United States has been a heated topic of discussion lately as laws keep evolving to embrace emerging consumer trends. So far, 29 states plus the District of Columbia have fully legalized this activity while 3 states are still working on the last details of their local regulations to give operators the green light.

Stefano Mclaughlin
Finance
Dec 02, 2021

Table of Contents

The legalization of sports betting activities in the United States has been a heated topic of discussion lately as laws keep evolving to embrace emerging consumer trends. So far, 29 states plus the District of Columbia have fully legalized this activity while 3 states are still working on the last details of their local regulations to give operators the green light.

Its been three years already since the US Supreme Court took down the federal prohibition of sports betting, paving the way for states to legalize this activity if they believe that this decision goes in the best interest of their residents.

Around 16 states are still reluctant to give operators the nod but, at this rate, chances are that legislators will ultimately be either convinced or forced by consumers to embrace sports betting especially after the pandemic prompted gamblers to enjoy this hobby virtually.

Projections for all 50 states

Experts like Daniel Wallach from Wallach Legal – the first law firm to advocate for sports betting – have developed some projections for every state in the US that forecast when this activity will be fully legalized.

According to their estimates, the next states to possibly enter the process of legalization are Kansas and Maine as they have already made some advances despite these not leading to concrete actions. They could possibly join the group of fully-legalized states by the end of 2022.

On the other hand, 11 states only allow this activity to be offered by physical establishments while 11 others allow operators to market a full-blown mobile and online betting experience.

Washington is one of those states that permit the use of mobile applications and online sports betting with certain limitations. You should definitely keep this in mind if you want to place bets with some of the best online sports betting sites in Washington state and make your betting experience stress-free. Florida is another state that offers similar conditions, we recommend informing yourself first before placing bets in these states.

Meanwhile, Arizona is one of the states that permit a full online and mobile experience for sports betting since April 2021 including sports betting venus located at local stadiums. Other states have joined it in legalizing the activity to this extent including New Jersey, Wyoming, Iowa, and Michigan.

Those that are waiting to get their respective bills signed off in the next few months include Maryland, Nebraska, and Wisconsin while those that are considering the possibility of taking action include Alabama, Georgia, and Ohio.

Finally, even though the Supreme Court fully legalized sports betting on a federal level, certain states are still forbidding operators and residents to engage in this activity including California, Texas, and Utah.

A closer look at the US sports betting market

The American Gaming Association (AGA) has been tracking the performance of the industry for years and has now incorporated measures that analyze how much money is being brought by sports betting and iGaming.

Total sports betting revenue in the United States during the third quarter of 2021 according to AGA reached $886.5 million resulting in a 153.1% jump compared to the same period in 2020. Meanwhile, in the first nine months of the year, sports betting revenues jumped to $2.74 billion resulting in a 306.5% leap compared to the first nine months of 2020.

According to a recent survey, three out of four US bettors prefer regulated establishments rather than trusting a “bookie” to bet on sports with this number progressively increasing since the SCOTUS’s ruling.

The reason why sports betting keeps being embraced by states is that regulators have been identifying the need to support the legalization of this activity as a way to reduce criminal activities.

Additionally, there is an added benefit concerning the tax proceeds collected from legal sports betting operators. These revenues would be otherwise lost if unregulated operators were the only channel through which gamblers could bet on sports.

In this regard, another study from AGA indicated that $10.2 billion were paid in gaming taxes to states and local governments. Even though this study does not discriminate how much of that money came from sports betting, the size of the market as measured by the first nine months of 2021 was equal to the revenues brought by traditional operators in Atlantic City during the full 2019 fiscal year.

This emphasizes the relevance and potential impact that the sports betting market could have in improving the finances of local governments and more data on this topic will probably be released soon to keep incentivizing legislators to embrace this seemingly unstoppable legalization trend.

Stefano Mclaughlin | For the first five years of his career, Stefano worked as a financial advisor on state and local tax matters, developing internal marketing technology for his multinational tax business. With over 12 years of experience designing high-performance web applications and interactive interactions, Stefano is now a marketing technology specialist and founder.

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