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About 40% of All Sports Bets Are Still Illegal

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This year will be the first in which more than $100 billion will be wagered legally on sports in America, according to the American Gaming Association.

But the increasing legalization of sports betting doesn’t mean that the illegal market is going away.

The American Gaming Association on Wednesday estimated that $63.8 billion will bet illegally on sports in 2022.

That equals nearly $4 billion in revenue that will go to offshore sites and bookies instead of legal operators. The illegal business will in turn cost states an estimated $700 million in tax dollars not realized.

“I know this is not a fight we will win overnight,” said AGA president and CEO Bill Miller in a statement. “It will require a united industry and collaboration across stakeholders to stop illegal and unregulated operators.”

The legal market will be led by New York, which is on pace to take in more than $15 billion in handle. New Jersey set the record for a single state last year when its handle nearly reached $11 billion.

2022 is expected to be the best year for the industry since a 2018 Supreme Court case legalized sports betting across the country. Prior, the practice was banned outside of Nevada, reservations and a few other select locations.

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