For years, sports betting has been perceived negatively by many Americans. However, a new wave of states is looking to legalize and regulate sports gambling in hopes that it will boost their economies.
In fact, some have even gone so far as to say that legalizing sports betting is good for America because it creates more fan bases. Betting on NFL line, spreads and even Moneylines are becoming widespread.
The question remains: Is this true?
What Does Legalizing Sports Betting Mean To A State’s Economy?
First, let’s look at what sports betting means to an economy. According to Forbes, sports betting will generate a whopping $44 billion in 2021. This number includes all types of bets, including those placed on professional sporting events such as football, basketball, baseball, hockey, soccer, etc.
It also includes wagers made on college games, fantasy sports leagues, and other forms of sports gambling.
So, how does this money get into the state’s coffers? Well, first off, there are taxes associated with sports gambling. These include both federal and state taxes. Second, licensing fees must be paid before any sportsbooks can open up shop. And finally, there are advertising costs.
All of these things add up to create a significant amount of revenue for a state.
Aren’t There Other Ways Of Generating Revenue?
Yes, but not nearly as much. While sports betting may seem like a great way to make money, most experts agree that it is one of the least profitable ways to do so. Why? Because of the high overhead costs.
To run a sportsbook, you need to pay for everything from security to advertising to customer service. All of which adds up to a lot of money. So, if you were going to bet on a football game, you would need to spend a lot of money just to break even.
And don’t forget about the taxman. If you were to win big, then you could owe Uncle Sam hundreds of thousands of dollars.
And while it might sound appealing to think that sports betting is a surefire way to make tons of money, the truth is that it isn’t. Sure, some people rake in millions of dollars every year through sports betting, but they are few and far between.
However, plenty of people lose money when they place bets. Some of them are just unlucky, but others are simply bad gamblers.
Why Should We Regulate Sports Gambling?
Now that we know that sports betting doesn’t necessarily mean a huge influx of cash into a state’s coffers, why should we bother regulating it? After all, it’s legal in 44 states right now. Isn’t That Enough?
Well, yes and no. Yes, it’s perfectly fine to allow sports betting to operate in your state, but only under certain conditions. First, you need to ensure that the bookmakers are licensed.
You also need to make sure that they follow strict guidelines regarding handling player accounts and how they treat customers. Finally, you need to limit how much players can bet per day and week.
If you fail to meet these requirements, you risk having your license revoked.
Do States Really Benefit From Having Sports Bettors?
The short answer here is yes. But only if you consider the long-term benefits. In fact, many states have seen their revenues increase since legalizing sports betting.
For example, Nevada has seen its gaming revenues rise by over 50 percent since it legalized sports betting. And New Jersey saw its gaming revenues jump by almost 30 percent after it passed legislation allowing sports betting.
On top of that, states that legalized sports betting tend to see an uptick in tourism. More people want to visit places where they can legally wager on sporting events.
Finally, states that allow sports betting tend to see lower crime rates. Since illegal gambling houses often attract criminals, those states that legalize sports betting usually see fewer crimes committed.
Gambling in the U.S is getting a nod now and then, and more states are reaping the rewards. However, it remains to be seen whether or not this will continue once the Supreme Court decides what it thinks about the issue in all the remaining states.
So, will the court rule against online sportsbooks in some states? Or will it uphold the law? Only time will tell.