In 2018, the Supreme Court overruled the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992. Having first been set up to protect the integrity of sports and restrict sports betting across the country, the act was found to be unconstitutional when challenged. Since then, the federal ban on sports betting has been lifted, allowing states to regulate and legalize sports betting.
While sports betting had been banned in the US, it wasn’t actually an offense for bettors themselves to place bets. This meant that many people throughout the country had still been enjoying betting online, doing so through offshore sites. Since then, however, states have been able to license and regulate sportsbooks here in the US, leading to a legal and lucrative industry.
Sports betting, which has always been big business in other parts of the world, is now leading to higher than ever tax revenues for US states. Not only that, it’s created a whole new industry almost overnight, leading to the creation of thousands of new jobs and growing opportunities for businesses.
Business Opportunities in Legal US Sports Betting
The legal sports betting market opening up in the US presents fantastic opportunities for businesses. Aside from the betting operators themselves, many sectors are able to grow and benefit from this change, indirectly benefiting from legal sports betting. These sectors include:
- Marketing – The US is the biggest and most lucrative market in the world, and sports betting operators have been quick to establish themselves and ensure they can take a slice of the pie. As a result of so many operators vying for attention, marketing has become incredibly important for sports betting sites. Businesses such as AWISEE have been able to offer services in digital marketing, ensuring that bettors are able to find operators online.
- Fantasy Sports – The fantasy sports market has been something of a substitute for sports betting in the US, allowing users to enter competitions and potentially win real money for choosing the best team. Fantasy sports operators FanDuel and DraftKings have been the two biggest winners of the sports betting boom so far, both offering their own legal sportsbooks and advertising to their existing players.
- Cryptocurrency – The cryptocurrency market has really taken off in recent years, and cryptocurrency firms such as Crypto.com and others have become multi-million dollar businesses. These organizations have also been able to promote themselves by sponsoring some of the world’s biggest sports teams, with Crypto.com paying $700 million for naming rights to the LA Lakers arena. Meanwhile, Coinbase sponsored the NBA, and Voyager Digital entered into a partnership with the National Women’s Soccer League.
Why Did the US Legalise Sports Betting?
Over the years, the US has tried to control and restrict gambling across the country. Various scandals involving professional sports and betting have made headlines over the years, with the 1919 World Series being one of the biggest. Lawmakers were anxious to avoid repeated scandals that would damage the integrity of sport, and lobbyists made sure that the law was enacted to affect nearly all fifty states.
However, the ban did little to stop betting completely. It only made it more difficult for bettors. As the internet became more widespread during the 90s, sports fans were able to find offshore gambling sites that offered odds on all major sports. Although these sites were technically breaking the law, they operated outside of the jurisdiction of the US, and therefore, nothing could be done.
Aside from potentially being unsafe, these sites meant that dollars were flowing out of the country instead of being taxed by local authorities. After campaigners worked hard for several years, the Supreme Court eventually struck down the law that made sports betting illegal. Since then, regulated betting sites have been able to be licensed within the country, and states such as New York can benefit from additional tax revenue. This has led to a huge growth in the sports betting market, predicted to be worth $140 billion by 2028.