The sports betting and gambling industry is one of the fastest-growing industries in the United States. It is estimated that by 2024, the sports betting and gambling industry’s market size will reach $8 billion. While not all states in the United States have legalized sports betting and gambling at the point of this article, it is almost certain that all states will legalize sports betting and gambling in the coming years with the billions of dollars in revenue states have made each year, along with the popularity of independent sports betting companies such as Draftkings and Fanduel.
While sports betting and gambling have been prominent since the 1870s, sports betting as we know it today was shaped by Las Vegas in the 1940s. in 1949, the first sportsbook, or at the time known as turf clubs, was set up in Las Vegas that exclusively handled bets for sporting events. By the 1990s, more states were considering legalizing sports betting. In response to this, the U.S. Congress passed the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992 (PASPA). PASPA banned sports betting in all states except for the four states that already legalized sports betting (Nevada, Oregon, Montana, and Delaware). Sports betting became prominent again when PAPSA was overturned by the Supreme Court in 2018.
Today, companies like Draftkings and Fanduel have partnered with professional sports teams to create sportsbooks. The most recent partnership is Caesars Sportsbooks partnering with LSU athletics to create the Caesars Sportsbook Skyline Club at the Tiger Stadium in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. This will be the first partnership between a Southeastern Conference school and a sports betting company. Other sportsbooks include the Fanduel sportsbook at the Footprint Center in Phoenix Arizona in collaboration with the Phoenix Suns.
In addition to partnering with teams, the proliferation of sports betting and gambling opens the opportunity for partnerships between sports betting and gambling companies and athletes. As of the writing of this article, there are no partnerships or activations between sports betting companies and individual athletes. While these partnerships might be difficult as there is controversy on athletes endorsing gambling practices, especially given past controversies such as the 1919 Black Sox Scandal and Pete Rose’s gambling on MLB games. A potential avenue for individual athletes to partner with sports betting and gambling companies would be to promote healthy gambling habits along with educating others on the laws and regulations of sports betting in their states. The athlete and company would also work alongside the American Gaming Association and use them as a resource for the best practices and sports betting and gambling laws.
At the time of this blog post, more than 20 US states have legalized sports betting. On average, each state that has legalized sports betting is making millions of dollars each year, with New Jersey leading in total revenue with over $1.2 billion since 2018. Sports betting and gambling have become an emerging industry in sports, spreading to partnerships with professional teams and helping states make millions of dollars in revenue per year. It is realistic to see sports betting and gambling not only become legal in every state in the United States but will give users the opportunity to engage in international sports betting and gambling. There is also the potential for individual athletes partnering with sports betting and gambling companies, acting as positive ambassadors for best gambling practices, and educating on the proper sports betting and gambling laws in each state.