How Big Can Sports Betting Grow in 2022

How far can sports betting grow in 2022?

Is sports betting the next big thing in the USA? Could it become even more popular than Casino betting? Will it suffer the fate of gambling in the past and be further restricted or even made illegal again?

Right now, it's seeing an upsurge, and is that surprising? Not only do you get to enjoy the huge entertainment of watching your favorite sports and seeing your team win big. You can also feel the adrenaline rush of the win paying out to you personally.

The sports betting market was worth $131.1 billion in 2020 and is projected to be worth $179.3 billion by 2028. It's just three years since the Supreme Court struck down the federal law that made betting on football, basketball, baseball, boxing, and other sports illegal. The 1992 ruling had outlawed state-authorized sports gambling with very few exceptions. It was only in Nevada that someone could legally wager on the outcome of a single game. However, the action of the Supreme Court in 2018 gave individual states the go-ahead to legalize betting on sports.

It didn't take long for some states to capitalize on the judgment. New Jersey, New Mexico, Delaware, Mississippi, and West Virginia were the first out of the starting blocks when it came to legalizing a flutter on a sporting result. New Jersey was the state that spent years and millions of dollars attempting to get sports betting at its casinos and racetracks authorized. It’s not surprising that they were amongst the first states to take advantage of the ruling.

The USA has a chequered history with gambling, the legalities, and illegalities of doing so depending not only on which state you were in but also the mood and requirement of the Government of the day. Dating right back to 1692, the Puritans of Massachusetts, passed the Idleness Statute in 1663 which banned the possession of cards, dice, and gambling devices. In 1682 the Quakers in Pennsylvania did similarly and throughout the next hundred years, there were various laws in different states and warnings about the evils of gambling. However, around 1796 The Revolutionary War was in part funded by the sale of lottery tickets. Gambling continued to grow and then be outlawed on a rolling basis. However, by the 20th century, almost all gambling was prohibited across the country but that didn't stop people from gambling. It simply drove it underground with the business being turned over to organized criminals – just like what happened with the prohibition of alcohol.

In the 1930s when Nevada fell on hard economic times, it turned to the legalization of gambling to help fill the coffers, slot machines became legal in Southern Maryland in the '50s and '60s and in 1977 Atlantic City opened up to gambling.

Sports betting is growing considerably faster than casino gambling did. You can see from the overall gambling statistics in the USA that it's a force to be reckoned with.

A recent report from the Bank of America suggests that half of all US citizens could have access to legal betting options by 2022. The American Gaming Association claims that 45.2 million Americans are going to wager on the NFL season this year – that's 36% up on the previous year. While it is still only 18% of the population that is just one sporting event. At the beginning of the 2020 season fans in eighteen states and Washington DC had access to legal sports betting. This had grown to 26 States and Washington DC by the time the 2021 season had kicked off. There are also five other states with legislation in process.

That's only NFL. Imagine the opportunities and size of the market if you take into consideration all the other options. Punters and fans can also make a wager on NBA, MLB. NHL, MLS, NCAA Basketball, NCAA Football, NASCAR, Motorsports, The Ultimate Fighting Championship, English Premier League, Boxing, Tennis, Horseracing, Golf – the list is as great as the public's appetite for sport.

Sports betting has huge growth potential. While there are currently 26 legal states it's not unimaginable that the remaining states will also want a piece of the action and certainly a share of the tax revenues. Ultimately, there is no reason to believe that all 50 of the states might not come on board with sports betting with the probable exception of Utah where gambling is condemned as a moral evil. While not strictly forbidden in Mormon theology it is an evil "based on the morally wrong philosophy of getting something for nothing, of taking money without giving fair value in return."

In the long run, 49 out of 50 might be considered very favorable odds. In the shorter term, 31 out of 50 is certainly good going.

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