What Changes Can We Expect To See in the World of US Betting This Year?
Ever since the US government voted to legalise sports betting and online gambling on a federal level, the gambling market (particularly online) has been experiencing a gold rush. Hugely popular companies like MGM who operate on the Las Vegas strip and UK based bookmakers like Ladbrokes are tripping over themselves to be seen as “the” sports betting company. As of the start of January 2022 sports betting is legal in more than two dozen states across America, although several of these have only legalised in-person betting. The US is one of only a handful of countries that tax gambling returns, so with more states potentially setting up to legalise gambling, how is this new pastime affecting the government’s purse strings?
Four states have approved sports betting but are awaiting further action before it moves forward; Ohio, Maryland, Nebraska and Wisconsin are all expecting the state’s first bets to be placed sometime in 2022. Interestingly, Maryland is the last Mid-Atlantic state to legalise sports betting and is the only state out of the four that has legalised mobile gambling. Having said that, the number of options is being controlled, with the number of online retailers limited to 60 and the number of in-person retailers limited to 30. This means that there’s likely to be a rush to get into Maryland first.
While Ohio, Maryland, Nebraska and Wisconsin are awaiting regulators, several more states are still discussing the legalisation of online sports betting. Alabama, Georgia, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Massachusetts, Missouri and Vermont are all likely to see some form of development in 2022. Several of these states have spent a lot of time debating, but with different politicians in office and changing attitudes, it’s looking more likely that they might legalise betting in 2022. Strangely, Vermont is one of the only states that doesn’t have any physical casinos yet they seem set to legalise both sports betting and online gambling this year. Kansas, like many of the states leaning towards sports betting, are agreed on the legalisation but can't agree on the finer points. In the case of Kansas, the Senate wants a lower tax rate for operators to create a more competitive market but the house wants to keep more of the revenue.
COPYRIGHT_WI: Published on https://washingtonindependent.com/what-changes-can-we-expect-to-see-in-the-world-of-us-betting-this-year/ by Habiba Ashton on 2022-01-18T00:28:21.612Z
With so many states set to legalise sports betting and online gambling this year, just how much revenue is the US government seeing as a result of the states that have already taken action?
While there’s very little information about the amount of tax revenue that the US government is receiving, there’s a lot more data available on the amount of revenue that US gambling is bringing in general. US gambling revenue hit a record high of $43.6 billion in 2019 before the pandemic took its toll. However, the gambling industry made a much better recovery than expected, with the total revenue for 2021 being around $44billion. 22 states out of the 25 that have casinos recorded more revenue in the second quarter of 2021 compared to the same period in 2019, according to Forbes.
Mobile sports betting and iGaming are thought to have had a considerable effect on this total, although in-person casinos are still earning the majority share of the revenue. iGaming brought in an incredible $1.66 billion in the first half of 2021 alone, compared to the $1.55 billion in revenue earned throughout the whole of 2020.
In the second quarter of 2021 alone, Americans bet $89 million across the 22 states where sports betting is legal. After 10 more states launched sports betting, revenue increased more than 650% from 2019.
With such a large increase in revenue from 2019 to 2021, it’s easy to see why so many states are considering legislation. At some point, addiction is likely to become an issue and will cost the government money, but for now, iGaming and sports betting is like printing money for the states in which betting has been legalised. With so many states expected to legalise or at least start the process of legalisation, in 2022 it’s likely that we’ll see another huge revenue spike in the coming year.
Although no one can say for certain what the future of betting in the US is likely to look like, it is pretty certain that it will become more accessible across most states in the not too distant future. Enabling consumers to access online betting, casinos and slots in the US allows the US government to keep much tighter controls on what gambling is taking place and what revenue this is generating. In this day and age banning things like gambling simply does not work, because there are so many other ways that people can access banning platforms if they wish. This means that banning the pastime doesn’t stop it from taking place but instead just encourages people to take part under the radar – using gambling platforms based in other countries etc. This does little to eradicate problem gambling and in fact, in many ways could be seen to encourage it.
By allowing gambling to take place everything is much more out in the open and things like support networks can be set up for those that are struggling to gamble responsibly. Places like the UK have many different stop gambling services and gambling operators need to encourage responsible gambling in order to be licensed. It is likely that the future of US gambling will go down a similar path, with states deciding their own gambling rules but also operating along the lines of encouraging safer gambling. Online casinos and gambling platforms are commonplace in places like the UK and many believe that a majority of states will have a similar attitude to gambling in the near future; and that this means the popularity of online betting and the US gambling industry, in general, will continue to grow.