Rise of sports betting in the United States goes beyond Nevada

Lea Hogg 2 weeks ago
Rise of sports betting in the United States goes beyond Nevada

In 2018, the world of sports betting and online gambling experienced an incredible shift.

The US Supreme Court’s landmark ruling opened the floodgates, allowing regulated sports betting to spill beyond the confines of Nevada’s desert oasis. Since that pivotal moment, the industry has exploded, transforming the way Americans engage with their favourite pastime.

Impact of legalized sports betting in the US

From the glittering lights of Las Vegas to the bustling streets of New York, sports betting has become a ubiquitous part of the American fabric. In 38 states, Washington DC, and even Puerto Rico, enthusiasts now place their bets with the same fervour as they cheer for their home teams. The staggering numbers tell the tale: over US$ 300 billion legally wagered since the 2018 ruling.

In the first nine months of 2023 alone, a jaw-dropping US$ 79 billion flowed through the veins of this adrenaline-fueled industry—a 33 percent surge year-on-year, according to the American Gaming Association (AGA). And here’s a really interesting fact: the two most populous states, California and Texas, have not even stepped up to the betting table yet. Imagine the stakes when they finally do.

Beyond the glitz and glamour, legalized sports betting has reshaped the game. It’s not just about cheering from the sidelines anymore; fans have become active participants, their hearts racing alongside the athletes they adore. Suddenly, every touchdown, every three-pointer, every ninth-inning rally matters—not just for the teams, but for the millions who’ve placed their bets.

And the revenue? Well another interesting fact is that it’s pouring in. In 2021 alone, the United States raked in a staggering US$ 4.33 billion from sports betting alone. Leagues, states, and even local communities are cashing in on this newfound gold rush. It’s a win-win, right?

SportHow popular is it?
Football (Soccer) Globally popular, with fans betting on various leagues and tournaments such as the English Premier League,
UEFA Champions League, and FIFA World Cup.
American FootballMajor focus in the United States, particularly the NFL, with bets ranging from point spreads to over/
under wagers.
BasketballSignificant betting action on the NBA and college basketball tournaments like March Madness,
covering game results, player performances, and live in-game events.
Horse RacingRich history of betting with exotic wagers such as trifectas and exactas,
along with major events like the Kentucky Derby attracting enthusiastic betting interest.
BaseballMLB games provide diverse betting options including moneyline bets, run totals,
and prop bets, owing to the sport’s long season and frequent matchups.
TennisFocus on Grand Slam events like Wimbledon and the US Open,
with betting opportunities on individual matches or tournament winners.
GolfMajor tournaments such as The Masters and the PGA Championship draw
both golf fans and bettors, with wagers ranging from outright winners to head-to-head matchups.
Boxing and MMAIntense betting interest during fight nights, where fans analyze fighters’
records, styles, and odds to place bets on the outcome.
Auto RacingThrilling betting opportunities in events like Formula 1 and NASCAR,
allowing bets on race winners, podium finishes, and more.
Ice HockeyNHL games offer various betting options like puck line bets and over/under wagers,
with heightened interest during playoffs and Stanley Cup Finals.
The most popular sports for wagering 2023/2024 Source: SiGMA

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Being responsible in the high-stakes world of sports betting

Not so fast. As the stakes rise, so do the concerns. The ease of tapping into sports betting apps has led to an alarming surge in gambling addiction. In Ohio, the number of people grappling with a gambling disorder tripled between 2017 and 2022, and experts predict this trend will persist. The thrill of victory can quickly morph into the agony of financial ruin.

So, how do we strike the right balance? How do enthusiasts keep the adrenaline pumping without pushing their fellow fans over the edge? It’s a delicate matter—one that requires responsible regulation, a robust support system, and a commitment to safeguarding the well-being of all players, both on and off the field.

When it comes to sports betting, America holds its breath and the iGaming community await in suspense.. The US$ 300 billion bet is on, and the stakes have never been higher.

In this dynamic arena of sports betting, mere spectators are becoming extinct because sports betting has given everyone the opportunity to become a player. And of course this means that the outcome of every sport, of every player, is literally anyone’s guess.

This article has been curated by SiGMA News through research and in-depth consultations with stakeholders in sports betting.

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