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Progressive Legalization of Sports Betting Across US

Steve Shoup

In 2018, the Supreme Court reversed a 26 year long ban on the illegal sports betting industry and passed a legal alternative. This enabled each state in the country to decide whether betting can be allowed on a wide range of professional sports. Politics had little to no influence on this decision, as there was only a 2% difference between the Democrats and Republicans.  This initiative was backed by the American citizens because many voted for the legalization of sports betting. 55% of the population was in favour, while only 35% opposed.

Earlier, the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection act of 1992 had made sports betting illegal in all states except four – Nevada, Oregon, Montana and Delaware. This was ruled as unconstitutional and the Supreme Court left the decision to the individual states. Slowly, betting on sports is being legalized in many states and is applicable to many sports. GamblingNews.com reported that Oregon Lottery will legalize sports betting before NFL 2019.

A debate has sparked whether legalizing betting is good for the nation as a whole, and many conclude that it is a step towards the right direction for several reasons. As more and more states allow legalized sports betting, a domino effect will take place as other states realize the economic benefits of this initiative.

It is a large industry

Even as an illegal industry, the world of sports betting is a thriving one and brings a significant amount of revenue. Some estimates report that it is in fact a multi-billion dollar industry, as high as $150 billion. Betting is easily done, especially online, and people are willing spend their expenses. With its legalization, sports betting can be done in a regulated environment. The legalization of sports betting is also support for activities related to widespread social behaviour. Although American sports leagues have resisting gambling for a long time, it has not been able to stop the impact of betting industry. In the recent years, people’s attitudes towards gambling have become more relaxed because of this large, already existing industry.

It is good for the economy

As long as the industry remains illegal, there will be no tax revenues to collect. The revenues that sports betting generate can go towards the public good because of its legalization. It can possibly create new jobs for the American people, as many as 125,000 to 152,000 jobs. Experts state that legal sports betting can amount to $6 billion as annual revenue for the country by the year 2023. For now, sports betting is an activity that is mainly accessible online. With its legalization, it can open doors for telecommunication and tech companies to capture international markets as well. This will bring additional money to the United States not just from its own population, but from around the world. New apps and new start-ups will be made specifically for sports betting and bring in even more money.

There will be an added entertainment value to sports

Sports are one of the biggest forms of entertainment known to man. With sports betting made legal, there will be an added layer of entertainment in the form of viewership. It will not only help create more jobs, but pave the way for current jobs to thrive. Entertainment establishments, especially bars, can take advantage of the legalization and bring in more customers. The indoor decor can be dedicated to not just viewing sports but also for placing bets. Not all establishments may have the license to place bets, but viewing parties are very much possible and will draw in a number of fans who have already bet on the games.

It provides a safe environment for bettors

The luxury of the internet is that there is anonymity. This can work against people when it comes to sports betting. In an illegal environment, it can attract youngsters and problem gamblers. For those who need help with a gambling addiction, there is no support system when the act in itself is illegal. The legalization of sports betting not only creates a regulated environment, but also a safe one. Credit card fraud is less likely to take place when betting is legal. In addition, a legal setting can offer treatment options for those who need it. The state can provide help options for those who go overboard. It is also human nature to yearn for activities that are otherwise forbidden. When gambling on sports is legal, it will be more common for people to participate in a responsible manner. Others will be prone to follow that example.


Legalizing betting on sports has proved to result in more good than bad for the United States. It is an initiative which will keep the integrity of sports intact. Earlier, gambling caused a gray area to hover in the world of sports. Regulations placed on betting will help better detect unusual mechanisms related to sports and can be stopped. There will be no questions as to whether betting will occur – it will be a part of viewing sports and keep the integrity of the game.



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