Betting Through the Ages—And Where We Are Now

Betting Through the Ages—And Where We Are Now

Abhinav Raj / Writer
May 13, 2021 3 min read

3 years after the U.S. Supreme Court’s landmark ruling that legalized sports betting, here’s what’s changed in the betting landscape of America—and what’s still in the cards.

In May 2018, the Supreme Court struck down the federal Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act, handing over the reins to regulate the legality of sports betting back to the states. 

3 years on, how has the adjudication changed betting through the United States? 

For one, sports betting erupted. Shortly after the ruling in May of 2018, the ripples of change in betting graced the American states. States including New Jersey, Delaware, Mississippi, West Virginia, New Mexico, and Pennsylvania immediately passed legislations lifting all prohibitions on gambling in sports—in person and on mobile platforms, and placed their first celebratory bets within a month of the landmark adjudication. In fact, the New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy was the first customer in line as Monmouth Park took their first bets. 

According to American Gaming Association, in October 2020, Americans had legally wagered an estimated $3 billion in sports for the first time in the history of the United States—in a singular month. But the real shocker was yet to come. 

In the first quarter of 2021, the sports betting revenue overcame COVID-19 and skyrocketed up to $961.1 million, up by a whopping 270.2% year-over-year—making it the highest grossing quarter for legal wagering. 

“For context, that is more than the $908.8 million that was generated by sports betting nationwide in 2019,” states the American Gaming Association

As of May 2021, sport-event based betting is legal in 27 states, as well as the District of Columbia.

From Slips to Screens

Betting is expanding beyond the confines of casinos and brick and mortar locations. 

Whether we’re talking about pastime destinations or office complexes, the coronavirus pandemic discriminated amongst none and compelled work and entertainment to shift to OTT and mobile platforms. 

The next and most obvious frontier iGaming is pushing for its growth is in the digital space. Since the lift of the PASPA act in 2018, sports betting applications including TwinSpires, BetAmerica, FanDuel Sportsbook and Kentucky Derby witnessed a steady rise in downloads. 

Of course, there are challenges to this shift too. Cybersecurity experts aren’t the biggest fans when it comes to an abrupt shift to digitalization of a predominantly offline activity. 

With millions of dollars being transacted via wire transfers and credit and debit cards, an online gambling environment the ideal target of a cyber threat actor. 

A cybercriminal’s go-to tactic is to steal information through phishing and malware—commonly credit card and internet banking credentials. In the presence of such actors, secure cybersecurity measures are an essential ingredient to ensure a safe betting environment. 

Fortunately, there are numerous security measures available to consolidate a website’s security—including encryption-based security protocols such as SSL and TLS to safeguard online transactions.

To Bet, Or Not to Bet?

Data: American Action Forum

The sports betting landscape across many states in America is under a dynamic shift. Lawmakers are pushing for the legitimization of sports betting on a pan American scale and proposals are only rising steadily since the ancient and outdated PASPA was overturned. 

The pursuit of legalizing betting is contagious, and is affecting lawmakers and people alike. Ohio Governor Mike DeWine is optimistic about the prospect of betting in the Buckeye State.

“Sports gaming is certainly coming to Ohio,” believes DeWine. 

Is betting coming to more American states in the near future? 

You can place your bets now.

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