Sports betting have come to be a multi-billion-dollar industry that is growing astronomically across the U.S. Roughly estimated, Americans spend approximately $150 billion on illegal sports wagers per year. As of now, sports betting remains illegal in most of the American states. Only Nevada, Oregon, Delaware, and Montana, which are grandfathered into the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) are allowed to legally wager on sports. All other states are doomed to lose millions because sports betting is illegal.
But the end of an entire era might be just behind the corner, as the U.S. Supreme Court is considering to strike down the long-standing ban, touted by many as unconstitutional. The anti-gaming law violates the rights of the states to control their own laws. In December last year, the Supreme Court suggested that it may side with New Jersey in its effort to legalize sports betting industry. The Court is expected to take a decision by the end of June this year.
Industry insiders are convinced that sports betting is to bring in fresh money to the cash-strapped states and it is to protect the players’ interests. Industry insiders believe that the regulated sports gambling could help authorities to eliminate the illegally-operating bookmakers. Supposing that the U.S. Supreme Court decides to open the door for legal sports betting, each state will be allowed to adopt its own sports wagering legal framework.
States Poised to Introduce Sports Betting Bills
According to a new report, at least 18 states are expected to introduce bills to regulate sports betting industry within their boundaries by the end of the year. The report also forecasts that 11 states (including Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New York, New Jersey, West Virginia, Ohio, Michigan, Illinois, Oklahoma, Kentucky and Indiana) will, most probably, have sports betting laws on the books. The report was presented by Eilers & Krejcik Gaming, a research firm that focused its attention on gambling legislation throughout America.
It is interesting to mention that Indiana and Kentucky have already introduced sports betting bills, while Pennsylvania and Connecticut even passed such bills. The firm announced that the number of the states that could introduce sports betting bills might be even more than 30. However, the company enlisted some states that are less likely to introduce a sports betting bill for the foreseeable future. These include Tennessee, Alabama, Arkansas, Texas, Kansas, Nebraska, North and South Dakota, Wyoming, Utah, Idaho, Alaska and Hawaii.
Industry experts believe that commercial and tribal casinos will be among most interested in offering sports betting. Apart from that, industry observers outlined that the legalization of sports betting might be the first step towards the eventual legalization of online gambling throughout America.