Online sports betting is one of the quickest-growing and evolving markets in all of American entertainment.
A 2018 court decision reversed a previous ruling that banned gambling from every state except Nevada, and since then 33 states have already legalized sports betting in some form, and others have begun pushing legislation to officially make the change.
Of the states to legalize sports gambling, over 20 have also opened their online doors to the new world of patronage. With impressive returns and growth in visibility, online sports betting looks to be the next chapter in sports participation and fandom.
Sports Betting in America
Sports betting has been the craze in America since states began the legalization process a few years ago— the market has advanced so much that sportsbooks are now partnering with professional sports stadiums, TV networks, and casinos, among other entities.
New York kickstarted the 2022 chapter of sports betting with a historical first week and month after legalizing a week into January. In its first month of operation, online New York sports betting amassed a $1.6 billion handle, which means that $1.6 billion in wagers were placed with registered sportsbooks. This helped spur other states in their battles for legalization, with states such as Minnesota and Missouri recently ramping up their pushes.
February’s Super Bowl provided new waves of evidence as to the success of sports betting as handles reached massive amounts throughout the country. These numbers helped push certain lawmakers over the edge, while others were inspired by the jaw-dropping revenues and have since begun pushing for legalization in their respective states.
The next great test for sports betting is going to be the annual NCAA Tournament, affectionately known as March Madness.
While bettors in states with legal sports betting will be picking their favorite March Madness odds, those in other states will be left anxiously awaiting the final results of the betting totals. If the returns end up being anywhere near as large as they are expected to be, the question of “effectiveness” will be definitively answered.
Online Betting Merges Sports and Tech
Part of the craze in sports betting has been a growth in availability, whether this is in in-person establishments or online websites and apps.
Goldman Sachs Inc. claimed that sports betting could reach $39 billion in total yearly handle by 2033, which would make it one of, if not the largest entertainment draw.
With this type of pressure, sportsbooks have done the best that they can to integrate with the online world, and many developments can be expected.
The sportsbooks’ innovation has prompted the creation of risk-free bets, which are bets that, if unsuccessful, will give bettors the amount they wagered in credits within the app or website. Other innovations include odds boosts unique to apps, first-time registration bonuses, and returning patron benefits.
Nearly every major sportsbook has an app that is currently live, which begs the question of what is going to be next to come?
The Future of Online Sports Betting
In-person betting has taken the next steps in innovation already with sportsbooks partnering with stadiums, teams, restaurants, bars, casinos, and other areas. However, what remains to be seen is what the future of online sports betting, as far as innovation, is going to be.
Could we see a world where sportsbooks and apps partner with video game apps? Or, is it realistic that sports betting apps could appear on major sports media outlets’ apps? Who knows.
What is definite, amidst all of the uncertainty in a still very young market, is that changes and growth are going to come and come fast. Sports betting’s ridiculously high handle profit line for sportsbooks and states alike make it impossible to ignore, no matter how traditional certain lawmakers’ beliefs may be.
This is a developing situation and changes will be made, but online sports betting is the future of American entertainment as sports and technology continue to combine for an unmatched product.