The Progression of USA Sports Betting

Gambling and sports betting have long been American treasures. From betting at the tracks to Pete Rose infamously betting on his own team to win. The love for the practice never truly went away, and even when illegal it was estimated that billions of dollars were still being wagered on competitions. 

With numbers like that, its not hard to imagine how big things could truly get if they were ever legalized on a federal scale.

Since 2018, many states no longer need to imagine, as the reality of legal online and in person sports betting is finally here. The results have been exactly what we may expect, with the USA's total handle already exceeding $29 billion.

Declare it Already! The New Undisputed Champion of Sports Betting 

Even before the 2018 legalization of sports betting, Nevada has been able to conduct the practice since 1949, and remained unaffected by the passing of PASPA. 

With a legal monopoly on the practice, Nevada was the only state able to offer sports betting in the country.  However, one state on the East Coast (with a pretty good gambling scene itself), wanted in on the action. 

The state? New Jersey. Often overshadowed by the nearby metropolises Philadelphia and New York, but with its own plan to stand out.

Former Gov. Chris Christie was able to overturn PASPA almost singlehandely and New Jersey immediately went into overdrive with William Hill Sportsbook taking the first bet at Monmouth Park in Oceanport.

Since then, New Jersey has become the often undisputed sports betting capital. Thanks in large part to the lax restrictions on the industry, New Jersey has outpaced Nevada in revenue taking in more than nine billion in wagers so far. 

The handles and the revenues keep rising each month. 

Month 2020New JerseyNevada
May    $117,821,281 $56,263,737
June    $165,014,553    $78,152,387

*Sports betting handles in a given month

New Jersey sports betting has achieved this mainly through allowing players in the state to sign up, bet and complete their payments all online. It is estimated that around 80% of all bets placed in New Jersey are done through a mobile device. 

This is also a major factor for why Nevada cannot keep up, as registrations must be completed at a physical location. Mnay of which are located in Las Vegas or Reno.

This outline of New Jersey sports betting legislation has allowed the industry to explode, and is being followed by many of the other states legalizing the practice. 

Who's next? Legal Sports Betting around the Country

Of course, New Jersey and Nevada are not the only states with legal sports betting. At least 20 states have now legalized the practice in some form or another. 

With new legislations, motions and bills being passed, the list is only going to grow longer.

Of the states that already have legal sports betting,there are a few that have also established themselves as major hotspots for betting. 

  • Pennsylvania Sports Betting (since Nov. 2018): $4,048,118,487
  • Indiana Sports Betting (since Sept. 2019): $1,640,752,783
  • Colorado Sports Betting (since May 2020): $459,244,483
  • Illinois Sports Betting (since Mar. 2020): $507,092,949

Each of these states has followed a similar legal legislation to New Jersey, allowing for fully online access to sportsbooks, from start to finish. 

In this regard, Illinois can be considered as the fastest growing and the most accurate proof of the necessity of online betting. The state began legal sports betting by obligating new players to register in person. 

The bill was changed in August and the numbers nearly tripled in the following month. With Chicago sports being matched in popularity only by New York, we will likely see Illinois rise to become the most active and profitable state for sports betting in the Midwest. 

Colorado also holds some important geographical ground, as it remains completely bordered by states without legal sports betting, making it a destination for anyone in those seven states looking to bet. 

More States Being Added to the List

In recent months, there have been new additions to the always growing list of states with legal sports betting. Tennessee has recently established and launched the industry in their state. 

For the first time we have seen in the case of Tennessee, betting will be online only.

The state, like Colorado, will have an unbelievable advantage being bordered by eight states without legal online sports betting. 

Other states have been either discussing bills or are in the middle of preparing for launch after passing the legislation.

Virginia and Michigan are two of those states, as the legislations were passed and both state is looking forward to officialy launching in 2021. 

With the massive success of legal sports betting in the states that have launched, its likely that we will eventually see it in all states in the country. We all hope to see it, as bringing back a loved American tradition is something great for everyone.