Revised sports betting revenue
Sports betting in the US is projected to be legal in 34 states, bringing in yearly revenue of $5.7bn (£4.4bn) by 2024, according to new figures.
Bullish numbers, however, put sports betting revenue to $7.9bn (£6bn) in 40 states by 2024, pushing the market ahead of China, which currently makes up the biggest regulated sports betting industry. Across all 50 states, this number would rise to $10.4bn (£8bn) a year.
Gambling Compliance, which describes itself as a “leading provider of independent legal, regulatory, and business intelligence to the global gambling industry,” has released its latest figures in light of the May 2018 US Supreme Court ruling that struck down a federal ban on sports wagering.
Since then, Delaware, Iowa, Mississippi, New Jersey, New Mexico, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and West Virginia have legalized sports betting and others are in the process of following suit, including Louisiana, New York, and Washington, DC.
Prior to these updated figures, Gambling Compliance had projected that sports betting would rise to between $3.1bn (£2.3bn) and $5.2bn (£4bn) by 2023, reaching 25 to 37 states. However, taking into account that there is an increase in sports betting legalization in the US, which has been put down to a fear of missing out (FOMO), among other factors, the independent body has revised its numbers.
According to the figures, online or mobile sports betting is expected to account for around $4bn (£3bn) of the $5.7bn market by 2024.
Maintaining the integrity of sport
With more people using smartphones to place a bet online, it’s understandable that online betting is predicted to make up a significant amount of the yearly revenue.
The general manager of MLB’s Seattle Mariners believes that gambling as part of gaming is due to the “evolution of society.”
In a separate March report, it was noted that the NFL was taking a cautious approach to accepting legalized sports betting as it focuses on the “perception of integrity” of the game. The increasing appetite for sports betting in the US is clear to see, with 60% of Americans supporting it; but, to prevent game-fixing as much as possible, research is being undertaken to see how the NFL can take advantage of this revenue stream while ensuring that the sport isn’t tarnished.
The problem of game-fixing
This, of course, is something that happens in any sport, which, unfortunately, does paint a negative light on the game.
For instance, in January it was reported that four tennis players, ranking no higher than 345th in the world, were arrested by French police after a Belgium investigation into match-fixing in Europe.
Elsewhere, three tennis umpires from Thailand were banned for life from overseeing any games after they were found to be guilty of offenses that included match-fixing and betting.
Of course, the issue of match-fixing is not an easy matter to solve and is likely to continue, which is something the NFL will need to overcome if it is to embrace sports betting fully.