Legalized Sports Betting Update 2023: How is Sports Betting Doing 5 Years After Supreme Court Decision?

Legalized Sports Betting Update 2023: How is Sports Betting Doing 5 Years After Supreme Court Decision? article feature image

Denise Truscello/Getty. Pictured: Circa Sportsbook.

It’s been five years since the Supreme Court permitted sports betting across the United States. 

It hasn’t taken long for the industry to grow tremendously across the country. Over that timeframe, 33 states, Washington D.C. and Puerto Rico have legalized the practice and reaped billions of dollars of previously untapped revenue. Online sports wagering is available in 23 states and one territory. 

Eric Raskin of and Jeff Edelstein of SportsHandle joined Action Network podcast host Brendan Glasheen on Monday to discuss the state of sports betting in the United States. 

With 25 of the United States’ states, districts and territories currently in online sports betting operation, both Raskin and Edelstein agreed that sports betting is heading in a positive direction.

There are three states or territories that have legalized online sports betting but are not currently in operation: Maine, Kentucky and Puerto Rico. 

Puerto Rico has in-person sports betting but has yet to operate online. Puerto Rico isn’t alone, with states including North Carolina, Montana and Nebraska holding in-person sports bets at casinos but without online infrastructures. They said that some of those states may never operate online.

The states that are furthest away from online sports betting may be the three biggest states by population: Texas, California and Florida. Texas could possibly legalize in the near future but there has been pushback from the state officials, including Governor Greg Abbott. 

Raskin and Edelstein believe most of the pushback in southern states is due primarily to religious and cultural issues.

California and Florida have had difficulty passing legislation due to Native American tribes, which have actively pushed back against an emerging industry that would cut into their profits.

Naturally, legalization in either of those states would vault it into the top five in betting handle per state. And that would mean billions of more dollars in public works and education.

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Currently, the closest state to launch is Vermont, where both Raskin and Edelstein think might legalize during a vote in mid-May.

Other states such as South Carolina have bills open this legislative session but are likely not going to pass. 

On the podcast, Raskin and Edelstein also broke down which regulations have made things more difficult for sports bettors and sportsbooks — and which would best serve the consumer.

Both of them agree that the more competition in the market, the better it is for the sports bettor. Oregon and New Hampshire have both legalized online sports betting but bettors can only wager on DraftKings. The monopoly creates fewer opportunities to line shop and ultimately leads to less engagement in best practices.

Tennessee has been a struggle for sports bettors, seeing as they require sportsbooks to have a 10% hold. That makes it difficult for bettors to get fair-value odds. Some games will appear as high as -117 on both sides. 

The best regulatory bodies? Those in New Jersey, Colorado, and Pennsylvania, which make it relatively straightforward for sportsbooks to enter the market. That allows for more competition, better products for consumers and better educated patrons.

Listen to the podcast in full here.

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