The opinion of an expert in UNLV gaming laws about the present and future of legal sports betting in the country, regarding the start of the football season.
The decision of the Supreme Court of the United States taken in May 2018 to revoke the Bradley Act, formally called the Law of Protection of Professional and Amateur Sports (PASPA), brought with it a vertiginous expansion of gambling bets in the country, to as more states join the legalization of bets and new sports bets are launched.
This is the case of betting on football teams by lovers of this sport, whose season begins this month justly. The number of states that have followed the example of Nevada, the only state that before the court decision operated large sports betting so that residents could bet on sporting events.
The associate director of the International Center for Game Regulation of the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV), Jennifer Roberts, offers a detailed analysis of where to bet legally and what will be the immediate future of this great industry in full swing in almost everything the country.
Legalization of sports betting in the next 10 years
When asked about the current sports betting landscape, she said:
“There are 12 states with active and legally regulated sports betting, and several other states, along with Washington DC, that have legalized sports betting, but have not yet launched their programs.”
The expert in gambling laws, calculates that within 5 to 10 ten years at least 30 states of the union must have already legalized sports betting. “I would not be surprised to see that almost all states, perhaps with the exception of Utah, eventually adopt some version of sports betting.”
She said that Massachusetts and Michigan are already discussing the issue and the state of Louisiana is almost ready to pass a law this year. She indicated that there are several states to which he hopes to propose legislation to be discussed in the next legislative periods.
Why are states approving sports betting?
On the reasons why they would take a state to take the step of passing sports betting legislation, the expert says there are several:
“I think that generating income is part of that. Employment is another aspect and, of course, the fight against the illegal market. It is better to have it open and transparent than to keep it in an illegal market.”
“Before states consider taking the step, they must understand how sports betting works. That is the key. Many states approach this new company thinking that it will solve budget problems, but that is not the case.”
She cited the example of Rhode Island, where lawmakers have projected estimated sports betting revenues of about $ 11.5 million, “but only about $ 150,000 arrived during the first months.” In the case of Nevada, she said sports betting only accounts for 2.5% of the game’s revenue, which is very little.
“It will always be a battle for convenience, prices and access to credit”
Explain that even when large sums of money are wagered:
“The operators also have to pay the winning bets. Sports betting has to do with risk management: you don’t want to bet on things in which you will lose a lot of money.”
She said that the victory of the Super Bowl of the New England Patriots had a cost to the state of Rhode Island of almost $ 1.2 million in disbursements. While in Nevada, sports accounting books lose about $ 10 million in NFL Sunday games, although they also earn a lot of money with college basketball.
In this regard, she said that all states must “have a realistic understanding and approach to sports betting.” She warned that states must keep in mind that the fight against the illegal market is not easy. “It will always be a battle for convenience, prices and access to credit.” However, it indicates that the advantages of the legal market will always be greater than those of the illegal market.
“In a legal market, sponsor funds are safe, and there are greater protections for consumers. In a regulated system, sports betting is more likely to be conducted honestly and fairly, and can also provide messages about problems with the game.”
What to do to open a sports bookmaker?
UNLV expert Jennifer Roberts says they are seen differently in each state:
“Some states, for example, do not allow betting on university games within their limits. Some states will focus on mobile platforms, and other states will not allow mobile bets. Some states operate sports betting through a lottery system, and others do so through a casino. So, it is very varied in the USA. UU”.
So an operator who works in several states would have a challenge for their business, according to the expert. She advises that operators share information about the states to protect each other against illegal gambling, corruption and notification to regulators about suspicious activities. “It is important to avoid silos so that market integrity is protected everywhere.”
Changes and growth of sports betting in the coming years
Roberts, predicts that a boost is likely to be recorded in the effort to “include more and more non-traditional sporting events in the legal betting market.” As is happening in minor league baseball.
She cited as an example that at the beginning of 2019 the bets in Nevada were initiated by the Las Vegas Airmen, following the decision of the Nevada Gaming Commission to repeal the prohibition of betting on professional baseball games.
“Sports betting is also expanding to tennis, golf, international hockey, WNBA, Australian rugby, cricket, cycling and even college lacrosse,” she added.
She pointed out lastly that in all of the US, bets on non-sporting events and international and electronic sports betting are growing. And she said that in the future, sports betting houses are likely to expand even further.