Why Are More States Legalizing Gambling?
There was a time when sports betting was only legal in Nevada. However, since 2018 a lot of states have been legalizing sports betting and gambling. Alongside the typical advantage for punters, sports betting also means another revenue stream for the country. Revenue from states that allow gambling has increased significantly. It rose from $11.1 billion in the third quarter of 2019 to $13.6 billion in the second quarter of 2021. Another report published by Statista projected that the global online gambling market will be valued at $92.9 billion US dollars in 2023.
Without a doubt, the sports betting industry in the US is growing at a relative speed. As a result, many states that are yet to legalize this popular activity are now considering the option.
However, there still exist a lot of people across the country who believe sports betting and gambling should be illegal. But we can't see any logic in that when the pastime can bring forth so many benefits for states.
A Regulated Industry Means Added Protection for Gamblers
Right from the 1940s till the 1960s, the mafia controlled the sports betting market. While organized crime wasn't popular for its customer service or propriety, in the past, PASPA and UIGEA made gambling illegal in the country, thereby pushing US sportsbooks to offshore entities. As a result, till 2018, millions of US citizens gambled in a completely unregulated market that was subject to the rules of Curacao or Costa Rica and other nations. While a few of these sportsbooks were reputable, many were not—meaning no space for players in the United States.
With the internet offering the luxury of anonymity and privacy, internet gambling could be more problematic compared to traditional forms of gambling. In addition, in terms of attracting youth and problem gamblers, the unique opportunities that internet gambling offers could result in increased potential for a credit card or other fraud.
UIGEA made this problem even worse. And then there were local bookies that took to action, creating transactions that could be shady or contentious. In a state where gambling and sports betting are legal, like in the case of Louisiana sports betting, the proper rules and regulations will ensure simple, safe, and secure transactions.
Legal Sports Betting Could Result in Tons of Tax Revenue
After the PASPA was struck down by the US supreme court, numerous states started legalizing the activity. Currently, there exist more than 40 Native American casinos in the country that has opened up nearly two million jobs. This further means around $38 billion in tax revenue, and this figure is consistently growing.
Before the PASPA act was removed, Americans used to illegally wager approximately $148 to $500 billion on sports. Taking this estimate into consideration, if the state governments taxed even around 2.5% of the sportsbooks' holds, it could have resulted in a lot of annual tax revenue for the states in the US. This can help the states and the country itself close a lot of budget deficits and support scores of schools, health clinics, tunnels, bridges, and more.
More Job Opportunities, Greater Economic Impact
State-licensed sportsbooks can generate more job opportunities at existing casinos as well as new standalone entities. For instance, job roles like oddsmakers, security, analysts, and cashiers, are vital to running a casino successfully. So, depending on how a state chooses to implement its regulated environment, it could lead to job opportunities of different kinds.
An additional effect would be more traffic into the casinos, thereby leading to increased revenue for retail shops, restaurants, and other businesses that support casinos.
More Exciting Games for Leagues and Viewers
Though they are so outspoken about their appreciation for sports betting, leagues secretly approve the activity because it boosts the interest and engagement in every game. Millions of people will tune in for the NFL, NBA, or other matches because they have money in line on the game, not because they enjoy watching a specific team play.
Though there existed offshore sportsbooks, many people in the US wanted a safe and secure way to wager on the sports games as people could in Australia, Europe, and other countries in the world. While this obviously is beneficial for sportsbooks, it will also benefit the leagues, the fans, and the states.