Sports betting is estimated to make up almost 15% of the worldwide gambling industry, but the real size of the business is unknown because of the lack of proper regulation in some countries. According to reliable estimates, the business is worth anything from $700 million to $1 billion. The biggest problem faced by the industry is that it is prohibited in certain countries, especially the United States, thanks to which it has been driven below ground.
It is impossible to expect people to not gamble or place bets on sporting events because there is a great deal of fun in sports betting. It’s pretty much like the prohibition of alcohol, which does nothing to prevent people from consuming it. However, since gambling is banned in many countries, bettors are likely to fall victim to a number of practices that deprive them of a fair chance of winning money. These illegal practices also destroy peoples’ faith in sports.
Online Sports Betting has Many Detractors
Online sports betting faces opposition from very powerful quarters indeed. The main sporting leagues in the United States are firmly against it on account of a number of scandals involving established athletes betting against their teams. They have gone to court in order to prevent the legalisation of gambling because they feel that it will lead to match fixing. In actuality, there is brisk business in sports betting in the United States thanks to bookies who operate underground. The internet has also helped people place bets easily.
The situation in Canada is slightly different. It is illegal to place bets using the internet for any one sporting event although Canadians are permitted to place parlay-style wagers on three or more events. Needless to say, this hasn’t prevented Canadians from betting huge amounts of money on specific sports events.
Regulation Helps Fair Play in Sports Betting
While match fixing is without doubt a very important concern for sports regulators as well as the people who follow sports passionately, there is no reason to believe that doing away with betting on sports is the correct way ahead. In fact, these problems are more likely to arise when betting happens below the surface and is often under the control of criminals.
In places where sports betting is completely legal, a percentage of the proceeds goes towards monitoring all activities and investigating ones that seem to be illegal. Furthermore, it is very easy to monitor sports wagers that have been placed online and this helps the authorities go after people who might have benefited from illegal activities with regard to sports betting.
The United States has to Move Forward
Sports betting, online or otherwise, is perfectly legal in many parts of the world and it provides governments with a lot of revenue, part of which is ploughed back into the sport. The United States continues to consider this as illegal activity, irrespective of the huge amount of money that its citizens wager on sports using the internet. It is definitely time for the Federal government to do away with the Interstate Wire Act of 1963, which makes online betting illegal.