Sports bettors across America make it much easier to place a bet these days, at least legal. This is all thanks to the US Supreme Court ruling in May 2018 lifting the federal ban on sports betting outside of Nevada.
The Supreme Court decision paved the way for individual states to determine the legality of sports betting. And while most states still haven't adopted the rules, many jurisdictions open legal sports betting.
Sports betting is big business in the United States. Experts predict that the industry will significantly exceed the current $ 10 billion mark in the coming years, and the exact figure could be much higher. This only applies to legal bets. Despite the 2018 Supreme Court ruling, the underground, illegal sports betting market is still alive and well.
Sports betting has also helped the entire online gambling industry to grow, in a market that could break the $ 4 billion mark by 2020. Due to the increase in the number of legal sports betting applications in various states, the online gambling industry is growing like never before.
Where the income is generated
Prior to 2018, Nevada was the only state with legal, licensed bookmakers for many years. Many have wondered what would happen to a city like Las Vegas, America's gambling capital, after the Supreme Court ruled that other states could also legalize sports gambling.
But as it turns out, Silver State wasn't hurt by the Supreme Court. In fact, bookmakers in Nevada, especially Las Vegas, are still scooping up the cake.
With $ 10 billion in gross income as of August 2018, Nevada brought in $ 5.48 billion of those dollars. So much for the whole thing: "Las Vegas will lose after the Supreme Court ruling," he says.
New Jersey, the state responsible for efforts to legalize sports betting at the federal level, came close to second. Garden State generated $ 3.48 billion in gross income in the last 13 months from sports betting. Not surprisingly, considering that sports and gambling have always been popular in the Northeast, especially in New Jersey and New York City.
West Virginia, Delaware, and Rhode Island contributed between $ 130 million and $ 140 million in that period. Mississippi and Pennsylvania were slightly better at $ 315.1 million and $ 304 million, respectively. Updated data is available in the Legal Sports Report.
Las Vegas is still a hotbed for sports betting
Despite the increase in sports betting in America over the past year, Las Vegas remains the world's sports betting capital. There are several reasons why this may never change.
First, no city in America will ever have as many bookmakers as Sin City. So locals and visitors have more options in Las Vegas than anywhere else. There are bookmakers in practically every block of this desert city.
But the main reason why the Las Vegas sports betting market will always grow is because it is Las Vegas. Most sports bettors love the thrill of Las Vegas along with sports betting. Where else can you play slots, bet games, drink 24/7, hit a fancy club, and enjoy a 4-course meal at 3am? Sure, you can bet in West Virginia, but you can't have an unforgettable vacation like in Las Vegas.
More states are jumping aboard
Las Vegas may be the sports betting - and gambling capital - of America and possibly the world. But every few months it seems a different state is adopting regulations.
Iowa and Indiana have recently legalized sports betting and are now operating sports betting. There are currently 11 sports with legal wagering and chances are high that more states will join the party in the near future.
With this in mind, it will be many years, if ever, before every state legalizes sports gambling. If all goes well, another 10 states will adopt legislation over the next 3-5 years. But there is certainly no guarantee.