It’s no secret that the sports betting industry is growing by the day and while the activity is currently legal in 19 states, that number is predicted to increase in the next few years. In fact, research firm Eilers and Krejcik predict some form of sports wagering will be legal in 37 states by 2023.
“The next year or two, we’re looking at 60 to 80% of the U.S. population having access to some form of sports betting,” Eilers and Krejcik senior analyst, Rebecca Giden, said in a statement. “So, it’s been an incredible clip of legalization and implementation as well.”
This comes after the Supreme Court struck down the ban on sports betting in 2018, which opened the door to legalization of the activity on a state-by-state basis. Since that time, 19 states have passed measures in order to allow sports betting, and three more states voted on measures to legalize sports betting during the 2020 election.
Tennessee, Maryland and South Dakota voted to legalize sports wagering
This resulted in Maryland, Tennessee and South Dakota all voting to allow sports wagering in their states. Furthermore, Tennessee went a step further by legalizing online sports betting as well. The new law also allows nonresidents to bet, but they must be geographically located in the state.
“Even if you don’t bet in Tennessee, as a resident you’re going to be benefiting from sports betting coming into the state," says Nicole Russo from "Play Tenn". "It’s going to become a very competitive market and the more the market is competitive, the better it is for people that are wagering. That means better promotions, better lines, and better offers. And I think that with the overall convenience of online betting, it’s going to be great for Tennessee."
How other states are approaching sports betting
As for the battle to legalize sports betting across the rest of the country, six states have recently introduced measures that are coming up for a vote. The rest of the states have either had a recent measure voted down or haven’t brought a measure to the table.
Now, some might believe that sports betting would be a welcomed edition to most states, but others have reservations about the idea. This is usually due to the belief that sports betting, casinos or online gambling leads to an increase in crime. Some even believe that it will breed corruption and lead to other problems for the community.
Problems with Legalization
Although a lot of states could legalize sports betting before 2022, Eilers and Krejcik claim that New York, Texas, Florida and California could be some of the last to approve a measure. The believed reason for this is that Florida and Texas are both controlled by Conservative legislators, who will most likely be opposed to more gambling in the state.
It is worth mentioning that California is trying to pass an amendment that will allow sports betting on tribal land, but the measure isn’t set to be voted on until 2022. The measure also likely won’t include online sports gambling, which leaves those wanting to sports bet from home out of luck.
Which states will be reluctant?
Looking towards the future, the research firm believes that Arizona, Kansas, Maine and Missouri will be next to pass sports betting measures. The firm also predicted that Ohio, Massachusetts, North Dakota and Wyoming will pass measures that legalize sports betting soon.
In the end, sports betting is proving to be a billion-dollar industry and a lot of struggling states are going to be looking at it to help ease financial woes While sports betting could never reverse all the harm done by Covid-19, it could be a step in helping balance the budget.