Super Bowl 52 between the Philadelphia Eagles and New England Patriots kicked off yesterday at the U.S. Bank Stadium. Millions of football fans flocked to the state-of-the-art stadium to become part of the spectacular sports event. As for now, sports betting is illegal outside of a handful of states, but quite unsurprisingly, Sports Bowl triggered a spike in sports wagering.
According to the American Gaming Association, approximately 97% of the Americans gambled through illegal unlicensed sportsbooks. The AGA estimated that Americans bet a total of $5 billion on Sunday’s Super Bowl. It is interesting to note that in 2016, Americans wagered $4.1 illegally. As for the last year, the figures are pretty much the same. Based on that information, it can be concluded that despite the federal ban on sports betting (also known as Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act), the industry has only grown even more thriving.
The legalization of sports betting industry throughout the U.S. has turned into a highly-discussed topic for the past several years. Some officials in the U.S. government explained that it is high time for a change in the current federal gambling laws. The antiquated laws fail to keep pace with the needs of the evolving gambling industry and the government should pay for this.
California Gears Up for Sports Betting Expansion
In fact, New Jersey was the first state to swim against the tide and challenge the long-standing federal ban on sports betting. After years of legal battles, New Jersey’s attempt to tweak the country’s gambling rules might turn out to be successful. Last year, the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to hear New Jersey sports betting case.
With every passing day, it seems that the odds are stacked in favor of the sports betting industry. Supposing that the Supreme Court decides to take PASPA off the books, that will allow every state to autonomously decide whether to legalize the sports betting industry or no.
As for now, a growing number of states are considering a major overhaul of the current gambling laws. California is one of the states that has turned its eyes towards the sports betting legalization. According to California State Assemblyman Adam Gray, sports betting could contribute up to $200 million a year to the state general fund. The state is already taking steps to expand into sports betting.
In July last year, Mr. Gray introduced a constitutional amendment that would authorize sports wagering in California. The top official explained that the state is ready to regulate sports wagering, if given that opportunity. He added that the revenue will subsidize schools and education.