U.S. Sports Betting: Where Are We?
(NewsUSA) - Websites focusing on sports betting and the gambling industry have been monitoring the evolution of sports wagering in the United States and around the world, yet most Americans couldn’t tell you the name of the law that was overturned by the Supreme Court’s landmark ruling back in 2018. Still, its reverberating effects have been seismic.
The Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992, more commonly referred to as PASPA, was the law of the land that gave the federal government control over where sports betting could take place. Las Vegas was the most popular exception to the rule and only a few other jurisdictions were allowed to make book.
New Jersey Fights Back
However, a legal fight to overturn PASPA was mounted by New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and followed by his successor, Phil Murphy, which ultimately proved to be successful. The SCOTUS voted 6-3 that all parts of PASPA were illegal and that opened the floodgates for states to decide for themselves whether they would allow sports betting within their boundaries.
Although the initial response was tepid, a steady stream of states began to pass sports betting legislation once they caught wind of the enormous revenue that was being generated by taxing the online and retail sportsbooks. That steady stream turned into a deluge, as more and more states hopped aboard the sports betting gravy train.
How Do American Books Compare?
Betting sports online is nothing new to millions of Americans who have been using offshore sports betting sites for decades. Many of those seasoned bettors, who have explored American digital sportsbooks, believe they offer less than they can find in online shops around the globe.
One veteran of the gaming industry explained, “There really is no advantage to using American sportsbooks over the offshores. The offshore books I use are licensed and regulated too; it’s just that those regulations are from overseas countries but they’re every bit as strict. The biggest advantage to using offshores is they give much better bonuses, usually have better lines, they take crypto like Bitcoin, there’s anonymity, and most importantly, I don't have to give the government a slice of my winnings. I don’t really want Uncle Sam knowing my business.”
Sportsbooks like BetUS are often considered better alternatives to American sportsbooks by veteran bettors, but, either way, sports betting has hit the mainstream in the USA and there is no turning back!
Did You Know?
At this juncture, sports betting has been regulated in 34 states; find the breakdown below:
- Only in-person sportsbooks (10)
- Full mobile betting with multiple options (21)
- Limited mobile betting options (4)
- Studies show mobile betting towers over in-person -aka retail- sports betting, generating over 90 percent of the handle.
- Although the NFL is the most bet-on sports league, we should note that college football ranks second, NBA is third, and college basketball ranks fourth. Thus, it’s not surprising that college sports contribute at least 50 percent of the sports betting handle compared to the professional leagues.
Money Changes Everything
It didn’t take long for sports betting to catch fire with the American public, but perhaps the biggest 180-degree turn occurred when NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell announced his league would partner up with the same entities the NFL had been castigating for decades as a clear and present danger to the integrity of their hallowed National Football League.
The sanctimonious finger-pointing by Goodell, and by those who had come before him, was akin to a WWE story arc. Except this one lived on and on and on without any reprieve. It was a wholly transparent attempt at feigning animosity towards the sports betting industry while its very existence contributed mightily to the NFL’s enormous television ratings.
No one is watching two last-place teams on Monday night except when it’s the NFL’s Monday Night Football. Point spreads and totals create plenty of excitement because a financial interest attracts more eyeballs to the TV set than an emotional investment ever could.
But the NFL could have its cake and eat it too. They could decry sports betting all they wanted because it wouldn’t stop the masses from betting. Meanwhile, they could continue to state that their game was free of any sports betting chicanery because they went to such great pains to ensure there is no place for betting in the NFL.
Yet the latter is true; neither the NFL nor any professional league wants even a hint of impropriety nor cheating. Pro sports can weather virtually any storm – domestic abuse, steroids, rape, and even murder, but the death knell of any league will come if the fans believe the fix is in. Then it’s no longer worth watching, and that’s a wrap.
However, when sports betting became regulated in the U.S., the NFL smelled money - lots of money - and realized those sports betting platforms would pay beaucoup bucks to partner with Roger and his 31 billionaires (the Packers are community-owned.)
It wasn’t at all surprising that the NFL dropped the charade against the evils of sports betting. That was inevitable, as there were hundreds of millions on the table. But the alacrity with which they did it, without any soft pivot, was stunning in its brazen shamelessness.
It was as though Goodell knew everyone else knew he was just playing a part and those that were too stupid not to pick up on the act weren’t worth his contrition. It’s almost like meeting The Undertaker at a bar. He’s not going to be the Undertaker, he’s going to be Mark Calaway, just a big dude quaffing a beer. No need to keep up the pretense.
And that’s how it was with Goodell. He went from preaching fire-and-brimstone on all things sports betting to Mr. Vegas slinking into a lounge with his new best friends, DraftKings, FanDuel, and Caesars.
Back in the 80s Cyndi Lauper had a hit song, “Money Changes Everything.” If you ever doubted the wisdom of those words, just ask Roger.
Offshore vs Regulated - Pros and Cons
- Credit & Cash Deposit/Withdraw Options
- Abide by local regulations. Funds are fully protected.
- All transactions are reported to Gov. entities (IRS).
- Fewer wager offers per games.
- Fewer leagues and events offered.
- Odds (payouts) are less attractive.
- Registration processes are more invasive.
- Cryptocurrencies are not an option.
- Fewer shops.
- In-person wagering required on some states.
- Tax variables depending on which state you wager on.
- Bonuses and promotions are limited/minimum.
- Deposit/withdraw options with cryptocurrencies.
- Bitcoin and other alternative currencies often available.
- Deposits/withdrawals with crypto are often immediate and fees don't apply.
- No tax withholding.
- More wagering options per league/games
- More leagues and events are offered.
- More casino games are offered.
- Higher privacy standards.
- More bonuses and promotions are offered
- More shop options are available. Some reliable sportsbooks include:
- Heritage Sports
- Cash and credit deposits can be more difficult.
- Regulations are determined by the country the shop is licensed in.
- No wager limits placed by government to protect customers.