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How Online Sports Betting Became Big Business

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Figure 1 Betting on events like the Super Bowl is now big legal business


You will have to be living off-grid to have escaped the news that online sports betting is now big business in the US.

It seems as though every ad break shows off more sportsbooks and a whole host of celebrities have been more than happy to be the face of the best US betting sites.

There has been an explosion of interest in online sports betting in recent years – and it is only set to grow. We are all about to hear even more about the ways sports leagues and businesses will be involved in something that was illegal in most states up until only a few years ago. But what happened? And just how exactly did sports betting become so popular?


Changes in the Law 

The headline news when it comes to sports betting is the Supreme Court’s decision to repeal the 1992 PASPA law that had essentially made it illegal in most places in the country. In doing so, individual states would now be able to make up their own minds about how sports betting operated within their borders.

There were some very early adopters, such as New Jersey, that were ready to go immediately and made betting legal for its residents. Other regions have been a little slower out of the blocks but now over half the states in the country have legal betting avenues – or have the legislation in place and are just waiting for the vote to see it through.


Digital Marketing and Advertising 

Just making sports betting legal isn’t the entire story of its popularity though. There has been illegal betting for decades after all. But alongside the new legislation is the exposure that today’s media markets can give it. From the press, to television, to the internet – you can’t escape the marketing reach of sports betting.

One of the most high-profile examples of how much money has been poured into making sure that we are aware of how we can bet was the recent Super Bowl. It is an occasion like no other and advertising surrounding the game was focused on sports betting and cryptocurrency – and sometimes both together at the same time.


The Attraction of the New 

They say that the grass is always greener on the other side. When it comes to sports betting, there have been entire continents that have had much less restrictive betting laws than the US and Canada. Betting fans will have looked longingly at Europe before the decision on PASPA in 2018.

That sense of something far more interesting going on elsewhere can also be seen in the surge in popularity in sports betting in the States. Sports fans that were quite fine just watching games before may now feel as though betting on the game is just part of the experience – just like in other parts of the world.


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Figure 2 There is a lot of money to be made from betting – for everyone


Money Raised in Taxes

Although there are some states that have held out against the introduction of legalized sports betting, the amount of money that can be potentially raised in taxes has convinced others to change their minds. The argument is that no money can be made from the illegal betting that went on anyway.

Many state legislators have sold the idea of legal sports betting on the back of how much money it can raise to help with some drastically underfunded areas of society. Even some of those who may be politically or morally opposed to sports betting have been persuaded of its positives in that regard.


Sports Leagues Relationship with Betting 

The way that the big sports leagues have welcomed sports betting proves that there is no looking back now. The NFL was traditionally probably one of the biggest opponents of betting but now has its own multi-million dollar deals in place.

It is not just football either. With more sports and individual teams having their own sportsbooks and tie-ins, it is fair to say that sports betting popularity is only set to grow.

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