Sports bettors all across America are finding it much easier to place a wager, at least a legal one, these days. That is all thanks to a May 2018 ruling by the US Supreme Court to overturn a federal ban on sports betting outside of Nevada.
The Supreme Court’s decision paved the way for individual states to determine the legality of sports betting. And while most states still have yet to pass legislation, many jurisdictions are opening up legal sportsbooks.
Sports betting is big business in the United States. Experts anticipate the industry will far exceed its current $10 billion mark in the coming years, and the exact number could be much higher. And that only includes legal wagers placed. Despite the Supreme Court’s 2018 ruling, the underground, illegal sports betting market is still alive and well.
Sports betting has also helped the overall online gambling industry grow, a market that could top the $4 billion mark by 2020. Due to the increase in legal sports betting apps in various states, the internet gambling industry is thriving like never before.
Where the Revenue is Being Generated
Prior to 2018, Nevada was the only state with legal, licensed sportsbooks in operation for many years. Many wondered what would happen to a city like Las Vegas, the gambling capital of the US, after the Supreme Court ruled that other states could also legalize sports gambling.
But as it turns out, the Silver State wasn’t harmed by the Supreme Court. In fact, sportsbooks in Nevada, especially in Las Vegas, are still raking in the dough.
Of the $10 billion in gross revenue since August 2018, Nevada has brought in $5.48 billion of those dollars. So much for the whole, “Las Vegas will lose out following the Supreme Court’s ruling,” claims.
New Jersey, the state responsible for the push to legalize sports betting at the federal level, came in a somewhat close second place. The Garden State generated $3.48 billion in gross revenue the past 13 months from sports betting. That’s no surprise considering sports and gambling have always been popular in the northeast, especially in New Jersey and New York City.
West Virginia, Delaware, and Rhode Island each brought in between $130 million and $140 million over that period. Mississippi and Pennsylvania did a bit better with $315.1 million and $304 million, respectively. Updated figures are via Legal Sports Report.
Las Vegas Still a Sports Betting Hot Bed
Despite the growth of sports betting in America the past year or so, Las Vegas remains the sports betting capital of the world. There are a few reasons why that may never change.
First off, no city in America will ever have as many sportsbooks as Sin City. So, locals and visitors have more options in Las Vegas than anywhere else. There are sportsbooks on virtually every block in this desert town.
But the main reason Las Vegas’ sports betting market will always thrive is because it’s Las Vegas. Most sports bettors love the excitement of Las Vegas along with the sports betting. Where else can you play slots, bet on games, drink 24/7, hit up a fancy club, and get a four-course meal at 3 in the morning? Sure, you can bet on games in West Virginia, but you can’t have a memorable vacation like you would in Las Vegas.
More States Hopping on Board
Las Vegas might be the sports betting – and gambling – capital of America, and likely the world. But, every few months, it seems like another state is passing legislation.
Iowa and Indiana recently legalized sports betting and now have sportsbooks in operation. There are now 11 sports with legal sports betting and the odds are good that more states will join the party in the near future.
With that said, it will be many years, if ever, before every state legalizes sports gambling. If all goes well, another 10 states will pass legislation in the next 3-5 years. But there are certainly no guarantees.