Sports gambling

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Sports gambling is a form of gambling whereupon a person bets on certain outcomes of a sporting event (the most common are the winner, and whether the winning team will cover the "spread", or the number of points by which the favored team is expected to win).

It is estimated that half of the sports gambling in the U.S. is on NFL games, and the Super Bowl is the single most gambled event annually.

Prior to May 2018, the federal Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act prohibited sports gambling everywhere in the United States (except for Nevada which had already allowed it prior to the Act). In a challenge raised by several states, including New Jersey and Pennsylvania which were hoping to legalize sports gambling as a source of governmental revenue,[1] the U.S. Supreme Court in its 6–3 decision in Murphy v. NCAA (May 14, 2018) struck down the Act, leaving the decision on whether or not to legalize the practice to the states. As a result of that Supreme Court decision, a third of American young men are addicted to sports betting as of 2022,[2] and billions of dollars are wasted this way.

As explained by CNN in February 2023, a few days before the Super Bowl this year:

In 2018, the Supreme Court struck down a federal ban on commercial sports betting in most of the country. Thirty-three states have made sports gambling legal in the wake of the decision. Now, on Super Bowl Sunday, a record 50.4 million US adults are expected to bet on the game.[3]

Sports gambling is considered a big "winner" due to the COVID-19 pandemic and a combination of state laws and a First Circuit federal appellate decision which opened the floodgates to it. The result is more hardship on families that can least afford it.

California referenda 2022

Two sports gambling initiatives in 2022 in California lost big.

Proposition 26 was to allow in-person sports gambling at Indian tribe casinos and four private horse racetracks. It lost 70%-30%.[4]

Proposition 27 would have permitted online sports betting, and it lost 83%-17%.

Worst states

The worst states -- i.e., those having the most sports gambling -- the following starting with the largest volume of betting on sports:

  1. New York
  2. New Jersey
  3. Nevada
  4. Illinois

Illinois sports gambling

Legalized sports betting in Illinois skyrocketed since it began in March 2020, reaching $1 billion per month by October 2022. It is the fourth state to reach that disgraceful threshold, after Nevada, New Jersey, and New York.[5]

See also