Millions of gamblers in the US are celebrating, and with good reason: the states are, slowly, one by one, opening the doors to legal sports betting. Considering that North America is pretty restrictive when it comes to gambling/betting online and very slow in legalizing online gambling, this is quite the news for all the players out there.
However, we must highlight that the process of massive justification of one of the favorite American pastime activities did not start in 2022; the biggest wave of change swept the US market in 2018 when the federal ban on sports wagering was rescinded; since then, the situation with couch-betting keeps getting better and better. At this point, more than a third of the population has the legal right to place stakes online.
Unfortunately, freedom of choice can often lead to problems; a worrying percentage of Americans developed bad gambling habits. www.addictioncenter.com estimated that around two million people in the US are addicted to gambling, while a shocking 20 million have, pinch smaller, consequences such as lack of concentration at work, weaker social skills, and similar problems. These worrying numbers are slowing down the legalization process in many countries since naturally, the government isn’t interested in forming a larger, addicted, gambling community. Now, the US government is dealing with the gambling issue on two frontiers: from one side they are trying to put out the fire of addiction by heavily controlling the online betting operators, while on the other side of the stick they want to give the consumers what they are asking for- the possibility to gamble inside their State.
Current Situation in the States
The betting map of the US is huge and pretty complex. Some states fully allow betting, like Washington, Nevada, Arizona, Colorado, and North Dakota, and there are states that made betting legal, but not yet operational – Nebraska is one of them.
Besides the gambling addiction problem, what’s stopping the government to say yes to all forms of internet gambling? Well… politics.
The two sides of the American political coin are hard to agree on; one side understands how much money betting can bring to the United States through taxes, while the other is worried about corruption, addiction, and higher crime rates. Legitimate arguments from both sides. Interestingly, the political parties are on the same page regarding the National Lottery; the Lottery is accepted in the majority of the US states.
According to www.sportshandle.com, the year 2022 will be formed by the consumers- the gamblers in the US, as well as the operators which include sportsbooks, casinos, and gaming facilities. The playing field, undoubtedly, will expand, since the list of States which finished or indulged in the process of legalizing gambling is pretty long: Ohio, Kansas, and Maine officially gave green light to online betting, while California, Massachusetts, and Georgia are or on a great path to do the same till the end of this year. However, the biggest twist in the game was made by the state of New York. This so-called Empire State began offering sports betting in January this year, opened a whole new horizon of entertainment for the masses living there, and quickly became the number one market for wagering in the whole continent.
Depending on the demands of the consumers, operators will decide if they have a financial interest to invest in new markets, since the permits for operating in the US can be pretty pricey, and very complicated to get, especially in the last couple of years, as the issue with gambling addiction went over the roof. Be that as it may, the experts in this subject expect a booming, gambling year. As an example, www.cbssports.com estimated that US bettors will wager around $8 billion on Super Bowl LVI, which is almost double compared to the current record of last year- $4.3 billion.
Who Got Their Piece of Cake Already?
While some operators are still trying to figure out if they will be able to profit from newly-opened US markets, others are losing no time securing their own place in the game of luck, money, and complicated laws. And it seems that the most attractive game is played in the State of New York. From January 8, 2022, when New York became a legal place for wagering, to this day, four mobile sports wagering operators have been approved to deliver services; four strong players that will surely shake up the list of the most prominent US suppliers. The lucky four are DraftKings, FanDuel, Caesars Sportsbooks, and Rush Street Interactive. They will run the market along with Bally’s, BetMGM, Wynn Interactive, and PointsBet, who got their letter of approval back in 2021.
Are the Land-Based Casinos Part of History?
After all is said and done, one thing is bugging us: what will happen to land-based casinos? If you ask what is more popular: couch betting or brick-and-mortar casino entertainment, we have no doubts that the US players prefer the comfort of their homes.
However, there are many advantages of playing in the real world, benefits so crucial that we believe the Las Vegas Strip will never be only a part of famous world history. As much as we all like to be free to bet wherever we like and whenever we like, online sportsbooks and casinos will never be as exciting as gambling at the real, land-based facilities. We do salute positive changes in the US market, but we will never underestimate the power of Sin City- where the dreams come true!