How Legalised Sports Betting Has Benefitted the USA

By Ben Hamill - December 28 2019

horse racing

May 2018 was a monumental month for the USA’s gambling industry. The US Supreme Court overturned PASPA, legalising sports betting and opening the way for the country to benefit from it in various ways.

According to an American Gaming Association tweet dated September this year, punters in states that have allowed land-based and/or online betting wagered approximately US$10 billion between June 2018 and July 2019. The most obvious benefit therefore would be an increase in tax revenue for the states where sports betting operations have been set up. However, taxes are not the benefit. The scrapping of PASPA was a good thing for several reasons.

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More Tax Revenue

The most obvious benefit of legalised sports betting in the USA are the tax revenues it generates. In turn, those funds are used by state governments to benefit residents in various ways. These may include supports for healthcare, education, sports, and culture. New Jersey alone received more than $30 million in taxes. A 1953 law also sees all US-based sportsbooks pay 0.25% in addition to taxes. That additional fee brought in almost $25 million in 13 months.

Less Illegal Gambling

Governments around the world have learned the hard way that, whether legal or not, players and punters who want to gamble will do exactly that. In the past, this generally meant backroom dealings with dodgy characters, as well as the possibility of a criminal record. Legalised sports betting has meant a reduction in illegal operations that ultimately benefited no one but the bookies. A legalised industry in this case is a regulated industry, which protects the interests of punters as well as the state.

Benefits For Related Industries

Restaurants and bars are not known for offering odds, but even the food and hospitality industries benefit from legal sports betting in the USA. Many punters who have bet on a game have even greater motivation to watch it, and they will not necessarily stay at home to do it. Instead, punters are happy to meet up with friends, many of whom probably also placed a few bets, at their local sports bar.

Opportunities For Employment

Sports betting does not materialise out of thin air. A successful operation requires people working visibly or behind the scenes, whether it be for a bookmaker or for a state regulator. Either way, legalised gambling leads to the creation of employment opportunities; something that is being seen in the US.

Protection For Vulnerable Punters

An unregulated, illegal sports betting industry puts punters at risk in various ways. One of them is to deny vulnerable punters the information and tools they need to ensure they gamble responsibly. Legal online sports betting means that fewer of those punters slip through the cracks or are ripped off.

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