Sports betting: Americans wagered $90.4B over past year

  • Americans have legally bet more than $220 billion on sports
  • 33 states and Washington D.C. have live, legal betting markets
  • Expert: "It's an easy way to gain revenue for these states"

SUNRISE, Fla. (NewsNation) — It’s been five years since the Supreme Court overturned the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act, effectively launching what has become a massive legal sports betting industry. Since then, Americans have legally wagered over $200 billion on sports.

Now more than ever, sports fans can win big, even if their team loses.

In just five years, Americans have legally bet more than $220 billion on sports.

“Legalization of sports gambling is as big of a change to American society as prohibition or the repeal of prohibition,” Declan Hill, an associate professor of investigations at the University of New Haven, said.

Before sports betting was legalized, it was largely limited to Las Vegas. Since then, the industry has exploded.

From May 2022 to this past April, Americans bet a whopping $90.4 billion.

“It’s an easy way to gain revenue for these states,” said Andrew Brandt, the executive director of the Jeffrey S. Moorad Center for the Study of Sports Law and professor of practice at Villanova University.

Right now, 33 states and Washington, D.C. have live, legal betting markets. Four states have legalized betting but haven’t started operations. Another ten states have either ballot initiatives or sports betting bills going through the legislature.

“It’s an extraordinary amount of money when you consider this is merely money that’s being opened up for what people were already doing with their bookies with offshore gambling sites with illegal gambling,” Brandt said.

Since 2018, the sports betting industry has generated north of $17 billion in revenue for sportsbooks and $3 billion in state and local taxes nationwide.

While the taste of victory for many gamblers is at their fingertips, some states looking to cash in still have an uphill battle.

“There have been some hiccups along the way in each state. In Florida, due to the Seminole tribe, in Texas has had some political issues and in California, it was up for a referendum last election, but it was sort of poorly phrased and poorly advertised. Again, bottom line, I think the big three are coming on board in the next couple of years,” Brandt said.


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