The impact of legalized sports betting on the United States is intricate, diverse, and, well, fascinating. Since 2018, more and more states have embraced the legalization of sports betting, leading to a massive surge in its popularity and, consequently, a magnification of its many benefits.
But what exactly are these benefits? This article will discuss some of the most important, including booming tourism, more tax revenue, consumer protection, and much more.
Boost To Tourism
The rise in sports betting has led to the reinvigoration of the American tourism industry. As states increasingly endorse sports betting, it also becomes a more attractive entertainment option for gambling enthusiasts. This surge in tourism amplifies spending both at local and national levels.
For example, those betting on football will look for the best NFL odds and predictions from a variety of diverse sportsbooks, many of which are offshore (source: www.basketballinsiders.com/ca/). However, there’s also the mobility of gamblers (many bettors often traverse states for betting opportunities onshore) which brings a host of tourism-related earnings for local businesses, such as hotels, restaurants, and local attractions. This tourism has directly helped to add $22.4 billion to the US gross domestic product.
Legalized sportsbooks in the U.S. herald a new era of job creation, catalyzing employment opportunities across a huge spectrum of sectors and skill sets. Beyond the direct roles within the sports betting industry – such as oddsmakers, analysts, and customer service representatives – the ripple effects permeate the broader job market, too.
Case in point: the establishment and operation of physical betting shops necessitates infrastructural development, leading to job opportunities in construction, architecture, and urban planning for office spaces and logistics, for example.
And, as sportsbooks continue to go from strength to strength, they also help to support the aforementioned industries like hospitality, tourism, and entertainment, creating positions ranging from hotel staff and restaurant workers to event coordinators and marketing professionals. Additionally, the demand for technological innovation and platform development in the sports betting realm spurs growth in the tech sector, so there’s been lots of job creation for software developers, data scientists, and cybersecurity experts.
So, what are the figures? In the USA, legalized sports betting has supported over 216,000 jobs either directly or indirectly, which is an impressively large contribution to the employment market. And, as sports betting is not legal in all states (Alabama, Alaska, California, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Minnesota, Missouri, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Texas, and Utah, we’re looking at you), there is a lot of discussion surrounding which will be the next states set to legalize the hobby. And when it happens (it’s more of a when than an if, in many states’ cases), it’s expected an increasingly buoyant job market will follow.
Regulation & Consumer Protection
Regulation and consumer protection form the cornerstone of legalized sports betting. By bringing the activity out of the shadows and placing it under fair and rigorous regulatory oversight, legalization goes a long way to combating illegal gambling operations and helps to minimize criminal activity.
Furthermore, there’s a concerted effort to prioritize responsible gambling initiatives in regulated markets. These markets proactively implement programs and resources designed to promote and foster responsible gambling practices among participants.
In short, the legal framework is meticulously crafted for such markets to guarantee consumers a transparent environment. They ensure fair odds, uphold transparent operations, and establish robust dispute-resolution mechanisms. These initiatives arising from strict regulation help to safeguard the interests, rights, and money of bettors.
When it comes to tax revenue gained from sports betting, states are presented with a lucrative avenue to bolster their fiscal coffers. The resulting tax revenues are certainly not a drop in the ocean; they are substantial inflows that help to fortify state budgets, and, therefore, help to fuel critical sectors such as education, infrastructure, healthcare, and community development.
This influx of funds empowers states to address longstanding challenges, undertake ambitious projects, and cultivate an environment conducive to growth and prosperity. As of October 2023, $8.4 billion in tax revenue has been generated across states, with states like New York and Nevada leading the pack.
Enhanced Sports Industry
The sports industry has undergone a transformative shift with the advent of legalized sports betting. Notably, there have been pronounced upticks in viewership and fan engagement across major leagues. For example, there’s been a 20% surge in viewership for the NFL and a 40% increase in streaming activities for MLB games post-legalization across the United States.
This heightened engagement also unlocks new revenue avenues for both major leagues and individual teams. Collaborative partnerships and sponsorships with sportsbooks have emerged as lucrative opportunities to increase income, and allows teams (especially smaller teams) a bolster in financial security as well as economic stability.