How U.S. States Benefit from Legal Sports Betting

Every state that opened a legal sports wagering market has seen a boost in revenue.

Since the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) repealed the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) in May 2018, every state that opened a legal sports wagering market has seen a boost in revenue.

The SCOTUS decision paved the way for each state to choose whether or not to enact legislation to regulate a sports betting market. Some states were ready to go right after PASPA was overturned, while others have only begun.

Even so, the legal sports betting market handle in the U.S. totaled nearly $12.4 billion through the end of October 2019.

With other states joining the bandwagon, some experts project the combined sports wagering market in the U.S. to see a total annual revenue between $3.1 billion and $5.2 billion by the year 2024.

The amount of revenue seen by each individual state is as varied as the states themselves. States that allow commercial sportsbook operators benefit by levying taxes on sports betting revenue. Some state-run lotteries have a monopoly on sports betting and reap all the profits for funding public programs.

Even the tax rates vary widely between states, from 6.75 percent in Nevada to 51 percent in Rhode Island.

Most states with commercial sports betting markets charge licensing fees to sportsbook operators, at widely varying rates.

While Nevada and Mississippi charge $2,000 a year for licensing, West Virginia charges sportsbook operators $5,000 every five years. Pennsylvania charges a one-time fee of $10 million. No other state charges more than $750,000 for licensure.

History of PASPA

Although Americans have wagered on sporting events since the advent of organized games, until midway through 2018, bettors could only place a legal sports bet in one state: Nevada.

The Silver State has operated legal sports betting since 1949.

The Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) of 1992 effectively banned sports betting from the rest of the country, due to a widespread belief that wagering on sporting events corrupted the integrity of the games.

The State of New Jersey fought the federal government ban on sports wagering through the legal system for eight years until its arguments were finally heard by the U.S. Supreme Court.

The high court ruled in the Garden State’s favor in May 2018, stating that limiting sports betting to one state in the country was illegal, paving the way for individual states to decide whether to legalize wagering or not.

What States Have Sportsbooks?

As of November 1, 2019, 13 states have licensed operators to offer legal sports betting in some form.

In addition to Nevada, other states where bettors can legally wager on sports include New Jersey, Delaware, Mississippi, West Virginia, New Mexico, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Arkansas, New York, Indiana, Iowa and Oregon.

States currently getting ready to launch legal sportsbooks include Illinois, Maine, Montana, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Michigan and Tennessee.

Why Avoid Offshore Sportsbooks?

With the U.S. sports betting industry off to a running start, competition between operators creates benefits for bettors in the form of generous bonuses and promotions.

Visit the gamble USA website for details on sportsbook bonuses and promotions in U.S. states with regulated sports betting markets.

Bettors who used to rely on offshore sportsbooks would be well advised to give their business to regulated markets in the U.S.

Instead of making often-risky transactions with unknown banks in foreign countries, U.S. bettors are protected by FDIC-insured financial institutions.

Not all offshore sites are risky, but some are. When bettors choose to use a legal, regulated sportsbook in the U.S., there’s no need to worry.

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