Sports betting is big business all over the world, but nowhere is it larger than it is in the United States. The only thing is that while sports betting is regulated and legal in countries like the United Kingdom, Australia, Italy, and Germany, it is illegal in most parts of the United States. Nevada is the only state that permits gambling on sports, and the amount spent here is just a fraction of what could be possible. Even so, Americans are collectively expected to wager $95 billion on football this year, both professional and college, in overwhelmingly illegal bets.
It is fair to say that should the sports gambling market in the United States be made legal, then it will easily outstrip gambling markets of any other country in the world no matter how well-established it is. As a matter of fact, the taxes generated by sports betting could overtake the entire revenues of the NFL, which earned $12 billion in 2014. According to GamblingCompliance, a leading international gaming research company, a legal U.S. sports betting market could generate at least $12.4 billion in yearly revenues. It goes without saying that this level of earnings will be possible when American punters will be able to place bets at land based retail bookmaking outlets and casinos and on the internet.
The sports betting market in the United Kingdom, as well established as it is, manages to generate just one fifth this projected amount. The amount is also one tenth of the gambling income from Italy. Considering that Americans have such a penchant for gambling on sports, it is surprising that the government is not moving with the times by making it legal. As a matter of fact, the immense popularity of illegal sports wagering indicates that the federal ban is a major fiasco.
New Jersey has been trying to go the way of Nevada in offering a comprehensive range of sports betting options. After all, the $227.04 million that Nevada earned last year would be most welcome in any state. In fact, New Jersey has been facing sustained opposition from the major American sports leagues who have taken it to court in order to put an end to its attempts to make sports betting legal. As of last Tuesday, Gov. Chris Christie has petitioned the Third Circuit Court of Appeals to hear the issue once again. In addition, six more states are planning to go the legislative route to make sports betting legal.
Even though the NBA, NFL, MLB and also the NCAA are officially opposed to permitting the legalisation of sports betting, some of the commissioners appear to have softened their stands. NBA commissioner Adam Silver and MLB commissioner Rob Manfred have made public statements about the need to reconsider the issue. Industry experts feel that it is only a matter of time before the United States adopts a more practical and reasonable approach to the question of sports betting. The need of the hour is federal legislation, which will enable the gigantic US sports betting market to be properly regulated.