It’s been quite the year for sports betting in the United States.
Tuesday, May 14, marked the one-year anniversary of the Professional and Amateur Protect Act being overturned by the Supreme Court in a landmark decision that granted all 50 states the right to choose whether to legalize sports betting and determine the minimum age of 18 or 21 years old.
Since the 2018 decision, over 150 sports betting bills have been introduced by lawmakers in 38 states.
As a result, eight states — Nevada (exempted from PASPA), Delaware, New Jersey, Mississippi, West Virginia, New Mexico, Pennsylvania, and Rhode Island — now offer the ability to wager money at sportsbooks regulated and licensed by the state.
Rhode Island is currently the only state that allows residents and visitors to place a real-money wager at state-licensed sportsbooks at the age of 18.
Before halftime of 2019, a handful of states — Iowa, Indiana, Montana, and Tennessee — have already passed legislation and hope to launch sportsbooks before the kickoff of the 2019 NFL season in September.
Of those states, Montana will join Rhode Island as the only other state that will allow 18-year-old adults to place a bet at a sportsbook on US soil.
In fact, it’s actually now easier to list which states haven’t introduced any legislation to legalize state-regulated sportsbooks. Only a handful of states — Alaska, Florida, Idaho, Nebraska, Utah, Wisconsin, and Wyoming — have yet to present any bills to their respective legislatures.
Experts predict that 20-25 states could pass legislation and legalize sports wagering by the end of 2019. It’s unclear how many more states will set the minimum sports betting age at 18 and up.
“Integration” will be a buzz word that you hear over the next couple of years since big sports networks, like ESPN and FOX Sports, have now partnerships with gambling operators in the US.
ESPN and Caesar are teaming up to build a new studio in Las Vegas, and FOX Sports is going one step further by investing into The Stars Group, offering its very own sportsbook app “FOX Bet” that will provide sports betting where legal and free-entry contests and pick’ ems with cash prizes.
And perhaps most importantly: both networks will be “integrating” odds and betting lines into all of their sports broadcasts. Other mainstream sports networks, like NBC and CBS, are also rumored to have an interest in combining “sports” and “betting” into one product.
The most telling sign from the current time we live in is the change of perception that sports betting has undergone in the eye of the American public.
According to a study performed by the American Gaming Association, an overwhelming majority of Americans — nearly 8 out of every 10 adults — support the legalization of sports betting that happening across the country.
That’s an impressive figure, especially since it’s difficult to find 8 out of 10 people who agree on anything these days.
Fortunately, sports betting appears to be one of those things we can pretty much all agree on, giving it a smorgasbord of opportunities to thrive in a new market as a result.
Sports betting isn’t going anywhere, anytime soon.
You can bet on it.