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This is a portal focusing on gambling and online casinos in the United States. We will keep you up-to-date with the latest news regarding sports betting and online casino playing in the licenced states. Welcome to Gamblerica!

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Comprehensive Guide to Online Sports Betting in the US

After decades of the restriction of sports betting in the US, there is expected to be a rapid proliferation of sports betting into most parts of the county. but

Nevada’s monopoly over sports betting is coming to an end, and as the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement (DGE)director, David Rebuck proclaimed to the Gambling Compliance, he intends for the Garden State to be at the helm of the sports betting market in the US. But, will this happen? Which are the best places for you to bet at in future and where can you bet today?

An overview of the history and the current sports betting landscape in the US

May 14th, 2018 marked the best day in the sports betting enthusiasts across the US following the Supreme Court’s overturning of the PASPA (Professional and Amateur Sports Provision Act 1992. 

The ruling judge, Judge Sam Alito noted in his majority ruling that in the same way that “…the US Congress lacks the power to order a state legislature not to enact a law authorizing sports gambling, it may not order a state legislature to refrain from enacting a law that licenses sports gambling…” 

The resultant ruling, Ruling 7-to-2, was a win for New Jersey following its years’ long battle against the ban on sports betting across the country, as well as a ruling against the top four major leagues – NBA, MLB, NFL, and NHL – all hell-bent on preventing sports gambling from expanding further than the borders of Nevada. 

It should be noted that New Jersey, through the 2011 referendum and the 2014 law, successfully legalized sports betting at the racetracks and the casinos. 

The next steps

By overturning this act of 1992, the Supreme Court paved the way for individual states to introduce and oversee legislation that would allow sports betting activities if the states felt inclined. By doing this, the greatest court in the land put to an end a federal law it has prohibited in the first place. With the new law in place, sports betting was accepted countrywide by the end of May.

This celebrated outcome, especially for New Jersey, resulted in endless attempts by the state of New Jersey to legalize sports betting in Atlantic City after a non-binding referendum back in 2011. Despite their incessant attempts and their subsequent wins, New Jersey was not the first state to allow all types of sports betting, Delaware beat New Jersey, as well as other states by introducing all types of sports betting to their casinos by June 5th. 

While anyone betting on NJ to take the top spot lose their bet, it should be noted that even though NJ failed to roll out all their state-approved sports betting as fast as anticipated, alongside New York, they are primed to shape the sports betting landscape for legalized betting on sports in the country.

The current State of Sports Betting

With the federal ban on sports betting in the entire US ending in March of 2018 since its ban in 1992, a law that only granted immunity to four states to allow sports betting activities within its borders – Nevada, Montana, Oregon, and Delaware, several other states have launched sports betting and sports betting related activities within their borders since the lift of the ban.

Note: The state of Nevada was the first state to legalize casino gambling back in 1931 while most other states continued to ban gambling in all its forms. In recent years, however, states have been lifting bans on gambling as they looked for ways of regulating gambling while regulating revenues for public use in education and other sectors.

The result of the slow shift in gambling now sees all states permit some form of gambling, except for the state of Hawaii.

1992 Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act

It should be noted that the 1992 Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act did not ban sports gambling in all states, but it states that the states were not allowed to permit sports gambling. 

By overturning this rule, the supreme court opened doors for all the states to allow wagering on offline and online sports betting across the country.

It’s Finally Legal!

After hearing oral arguments late 2017, the Supreme Court’s ruling on May 14th ruled to lift the ban on sports betting across the country, ending the decades of the monopoly enjoyed by Nevada. Thanks to SCOTUS’ decision, these states are now allowed to offer legal sports betting service, after the creation and the approval of regulations.

Nevada

It is the only state where sports betting was legal – it was grandfathered when the PASPA was passed.

Delaware

Then, there is Delaware that was the first to get into the expanded market. Since it has immunity along with Oregon, Montana, and Nevada, Delaware used its existing laws on sports betting and established single-game-wagering regulations. It started taking wagers/ bets on June 5th. While Delaware was exempted from the old ban and they were allowed to take multigame bets, bettors can now bet on individual games in any one of the three existing casinos/ race tracks.

New Jersey 

It launched its first sports betting services on June 14th. As the state that brought the lawsuit and the federal law banning sports betting down, New Jersey became the second state to allow wagers following the signing into law of the sports betting bill on June 13th. 

To flag things off, Gov. Phil Murphy, a Democrat noted that sports betting would bring in about $13 million as tax revenue in the first year.

Mississippi

The state of Mississippi launched its sports betting services on August 1st. But, in anticipation, the state of Mississippi changed the law to allow sports betting in 2017

Rhode Island

Rhode Island made sports betting legal on November 26th. 

As a result of the ruling, Rhodes Island’s governor included about $24 million in expected revenues from sports betting in the proposed 2019 fiscal budget. 

Pennsylvania

The state of Pennsylvania established temporary sports betting regulations in June 2018 although the state has passed their sports gambling bill on the 2017 October while anticipating the Supreme Court’s ruling. Betting didn’t, however, begin until 2018 June when the bill was passed.

On 17th of August, the Hollywood Casino at the Penn National Race Course became the first Pennsylvania casino to submit their request to offer sports wagers. 

On October 3rd, Pennsylvania, a state that is regarded as the country’s most aggressive gambling states was reported to be weeks away from being the sixth state with regulators in sports betting following the awarding of sports betting licenses to two casinos. These casinos started their operations in November when they were allowed to open their sportsbook.

Online and mobile betting is expected to take a few more months before it takes effect completely. It should be noted that the users of these sites should be 21 years and older, and they will only be allowed to wager within Pennsylvania.

Bear in mind that Pennsylvania has relatively high tax rates on sports gambling at 34 percent on its operators and an additional 2 percent tax which goes to the local grants and counties. The operators are also required to part with a one-time fee (sports betting wagering license) of $10million. With these figures, the American Gaming Association shows that the Pennsylvania casinos rake in a lot more in gross revenue, compared to other states – except for Nevada. 

West Virginia

The state of West Virginia passed the bill that allows sports gambling on August 30, 2018, becoming the fifth state offering legal sports betting. In anticipation of this Supreme Court Ruling, the state of West Virginia enacted and passed a bill on sports betting in March 2018, and their bet paid off, and by the time the ruling was passed into law, the state was almost done with the finished product. To take sports betting up a notch, the state is weeks from launching online sports betting.

The state’s top 5 casinos offering sports betting services are expected to bring in close to $5.5 million in their first year of operations. 

States that have legalized sports betting, kind of

New York

In 2013, a bill was passed to authorize sports betting in four casinos if the federal laws changed. Unfortunately, the casinos are not yet taking bets with the adoption of the betting regulations pending at the New York Gaming Commission. Also, the state is yet to vote on the expansion of sports betting to all racetracks, casinos, and the off-track betting sites state-wide. Legalization will be addressed in the next legislative session in January 2019.

States Where the Bills Have Been Tried

Michigan – the House of Representatives notes that it would only regulate and legalize internet gambling, but it will not legalize sports betting – although this depends on the approval of the Senate,

California – the constitution of California, the largest state forbids sports gambling through a constitutional amendment of July 2017 could see the authorization of the state legislature to allow sports gambling – proposal before a committee.

Other states still on the fence include Illinois, Iowa, Connecticut, Indiana, Kentucky, Kansas, Maryland, Louisiana, Ohio, Missouri, Oklahoma, and South Carolina,

There also are states where no action has been taken on sports gambling. They include: Alabama, Washington D.C., Arizona, Alaska, Arkansas, Florida, Colorado, Idaho, Georgia, Hawaii, Maine, Massachusetts, Montana, Minnesota, New Hampshire, Nebraska, North Dakota, North Carolina, New Mexico, South Dakota, Oregon, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, Utah, Virginia, Wisconsin, Washington, and Wyoming.

More

On October 16th, a property in New Mexico was reported to have started bookings for legal wagers. And in early October, Santa Ana Star Casino & Hotel closed a deal with USBookmaking to launch a sportsbook. 

The interesting bit about New Mexico’s case is the fact that Santa Ana is a known tribal property. While Mississippi was the first state to launch tribal sports betting, theirs was done as per the state law. In the case of Santa Ana, sports betting is still regarded as an illegal activity elsewhere in the state of New Mexico – the tribe accepts bets only on its land. The wagers for online sports betting in Santa Ana are regulated by The Pueblo of Santa Ana Gaming Regulatory Commission.

Expectations

The lifting of the ban on sports betting across state lines is expected to increase the estimated annual earnings from the industry. At the moment, it is estimated that the total amount that is wagered in sports betting, in the US alone, ranges from $150 – $400 billion, every year. But, these numbers are not exact since most of these wagers were placed when sports betting was illegal in all but 4 states.

However, following the legalization of sports betting, the gross gaming revenue (GGR) for the legal sports betting market is projected to reach over $6billion by the year 2023. This projection is from research by the research firm Eilers & Krejcik Gaming which also estimates that in 2017, and at a time when sports betting outside Nevada was illegal, the reported earnings from sports betting was between $2.5 and $3billion. All these earnings were from offshore bookmakers from individuals betting illegally. Their report also suggested that between 12 and 15 million Americans are active (and illegal) sports bettors. The estimate does not include the casual bettors wagering sparingly on sports.

New Events in Sports Betting

At the end of November, MGM struck a third deal with professionals in the US Sports League adding MLB to its partners NHL and NBA. The NBA is also making great strides having entered into an agreement with Genius Sports and SportsRadar for the distribution of the official league data for purposes of betting.

Also, the sports betting operators have joined forces, creating a private nonprofit to oversee operations in the industry.

Live Sports Betting

Delaware and New Jersey are now running live sports betting wagers. Most of the legal states will see a rise in online sporting avenues in 2019 and beyond.

The future of sports betting

With high revenue projection for states that have approved sports betting, more states are expected to approve and legalize sports betting within their boundaries. Thanks to the Supreme Court decision, the tides are changing significantly with the number of legal online sportsbooks expected to increase in the coming months.

The American Gambling Association(AGA) is also fully supportive of sports betting. It maintains that sports betting in a legal and highly regulated setting will increase tax revenue generate, protect consumers, and strengthen the integrity of the major sports countrywide.