What Does the Post-PASPA Gambling Landscape Hold for the United States?

In May of 2018, the US Supreme Court overturned the earlier PASPA ruling that had effectively outlawed any form of sports betting in the country. While there had been some notable exceptions, mostly in illegal form, it was clear that the United States was entering a new era,

As we head towards the end of the year, it’s a good opportunity to reflect on the decision and to assess the pros and cons of legal sports gambling across America.

Early Adopters

It’s fair to say that the PASPA ruling has led to a trickle of developments as opposed to a flood. When America got the go ahead on sports betting, some of the biggest names in the industry made an early move and we saw some gambling floors built in established Las Vegas casinos.

Betting operations also moved to the racetrack and some early sports sponsorship deals were struck between operators and clubs across America. A high profile merger also took place between a well known brand and a US Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) site so there were some early movements in the wake of the decision. To date, only a few states have adopted sports betting and the forecast for growth remains steady rather than spectacular.

A report in November 2018 claimed that in two years, the number of American states allowing sports betting would grow to 24 but is this a good move or are there concerns about the developing situation?

Building the Coffers

One of the clear benefits of introducing sports betting would be the additional revenue that each individual state stands to earn. Back in August of 2018, a report carried out by Oxford University suggested that the industry could provide a $14 billion boost to the US GDP on an annual basis and the performance of the gambling sector in other countries indicates that this is no wild claim.

Over in the UK, reports show that the gambling industry there brings in close to £14 billion annually so, in a country as vast and as populous as the United States, there must be scope to hit the $14 billion mark.

Keeping it Clean

Legalised betting will also help to bring the practise out of the underground and away from the world of criminal activities. The US has its own problems and in other countries where sports betting is outlawed, the criminals find a way to carry on regardless.

Elsewhere, the PASPA ruling has also opened the door for official sports sponsorship and some brands have been quick to adopt this. The NBA and NHL have been lining up betting partners while soccer side the Las Vegas Lights secured a high profile sponsor to bring much needed funds into the club.

The Potential Downsides

When the announcement from the US Supreme Court was made in May, there were some dissenting voices and that’s to be expected. Among the concerns was the issue of gambling addiction which can be evident in other countries while some sports governing bodies felt that legalised sports betting could usher in the spectre of match fixing.

A further concern may be brought to life as the situation develops: As individual states in the US choose to adopt sports betting, there is a school of thought suggesting that those that delay or refuse to allow the practise may see a rise in illegal activities.

There are some points to consider but on the whole, the outlook for sports betting in the United States is a positive one and it will be fascinating to see the situation develop through 2019 and beyond.