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The Situation with Sports Gambling in the US

Steve Shoup

Sports betting and gambling has been deemed illegal in the majority of US states since 1992. After 26 years of sports betting prohibition is slowly coming to an end and we could see a possible full legalization of sports betting in the entire US. More than 20 states have signed the petition to reopen the case for sports gambling. Before this could be achieved, it’s important to understand the position and history of sports gambling in the US.

Betting In the US

To get a bit of a context, we must talk about the position of betting in the country. Betting and gambling still have a strong position in the US, just takes a different form than it has in other parts of the world. For example, lotteries are by far the most popular betting game in the US, and this tradition goes back more than two centuries. Despite the fact that lottery and other luck-based games are very common, sports betting has not set its roots in yet, mainly because there are no laws set in place for it. Legislators avoid the issue of sports betting because they fear that the legalization of betting will lead to match-fixing and other gambling-related problems.

There are a total of 24 states with commercial land-based casinoS, which is more than double then there were just a decade ago. While brick and mortar casinos are a very popular thing in the country, the government still frowns upon the growing popularity of online casinos. There are a few online casinos that are allowed to operate in the US but due to strict regulations, the country is still not really welcoming for online gamblers.

Pro Legacy Joining This Cause

There has been a growing pro-sports gambling movement since 2011. Legal representatives of the major US sports are arguing in the favour of legalizing sports betting. The NFL executives, as well as the NBA commissioner Adam Silver, are all open to the possibility of regulating sports gambling. Besides them, other leagues also have a role in this, most notably the NFL, but there is still a lot of work to be done before all of this can become a reality.

Looking to neighbours across the Atlantic

In the UK, as well as in almost the entire Europe, sports gambling is unavoidable and a part of everyday life. There are betting parlours and casinos in every city, and online gambling is becoming more and more popular with each passing year. Gamblers can play from the comfort of their home, in a gambling kiosk or even on the stadium itself. But it wasn’t always like this in Europe either. Gambling became legal in most countries in the middle of the 20th century, with highly regulated laws and taxes. The US are certainly not at that point yet, but coUntrys residents are pushing for widespan legalisation of gambling across the country. Times have definitely changed, and we can expect this to be a matter of growing importance in the upcoming future.



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