May 9, 2023 3 min read


Legal Sports Betting in the US Nears Its Fifth Anniversary

The past few years have been transformative for the industry as it enjoyed meteoric growth, but player protection remains a pressing concern

With sports betting spreading to more and more states, roughly two-thirds of jurisdictions now offer legalized wagering. The industry has provided substantial tax contributions to local governments and forever transformed US sports. However, lingering concerns over addiction and gambling harm continue to pose challenges.

The Industry Reaches a Significant Milestone

14 May 2023 will mark the fifth anniversary of the US Supreme Court’s decision to strike down the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA), paving the way for legal sports betting in the United States. Half a decade since the landmark ruling, the sports betting industry has grown significantly, with more states legalizing and regulating sports betting and more operators entering the market. 

When the Supreme Court overturned PASPA, it was up to individual states to decide if they wanted to legalize sports betting. Five years after the ruling, more than 30 states have opened up to wagering. Massachusetts was the latest to introduce such legislation as sportsbooks flocked to capitalize on the untapped market.

Professional Sports Were Forever Changed

The legalization of sports betting has significantly impacted the economy, with the industry contributing billions of dollars in tax revenue to state governments. Sportsbooks and technology providers create thousands of jobs, contribute to safe gambling initiatives, and regularly donate to charities. As more states adopt betting legislation, these benefits will continue to spread.

Despite initial hesitation, US leagues and teams have embraced sports betting, securing long-term partnerships with leading sportsbooks. Sponsorships are commonplace, with operator names strewn across stadiums and present on nearly all uniforms. DraftKings CEO Jason Robins was confident the market would continue to excel and evolve, offering new opportunities like micro-betting.

Legal betting is already part of mainstream sports culture, and I anticipate this trend will grow as adoption increases.

Jason Robins, DraftKings CEO

In the five years since legalization, Americans have bet over $220 billion with legal sportsbooks, showcasing the industry’s massive footprint. Ads in allowed jurisdictions are omnipresent, and many events now stream wagering information alongside the game. With rising accessibility thanks to new technology, placing a bet has never been easier.

Problem Gambling Is Also on the Rise

While the sports betting industry indisputably has substantial benefits, the rapid proliferation of wagering is not without issues. Gambling harm remains a pressing issue, especially for underprivileged communities. The National Council on Problem Gambling (NCPG) has recorded a spike in people seeking help, and cases of high-profile athletes involved in gambling scandals are at an all-time high.
In response to these rising issues, charities and organizations have stepped up, providing prevention, treatment, and harm mitigation. The NCPG recently announced its plans to introduce a universal gambling hotline while operators continue to improve their safe gaming policies. While the industry still faces many challenges, its future looks bright, and we can expect continued growth in the coming years.

Deyan is an experienced writer, analyst, and seeker of forbidden lore. He has approximate knowledge about many things, which he is always willing to apply when researching and preparing his articles. With a degree in Copy-editing and Proofreading, Deyan is able to ensure that his work writing for GamblingNews is always up to scratch.

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