INSCMagazine: Get Social!

As the calendar turns to 2023, sports betting across America is as popular as ever. At the end of 2022, 33 total states have legalized sports betting including 19 that also allow online sports betting. Revenue nationwide when it comes to sports betting cleared $1 billion and in 2023, it should once again be a record-breaking year. But while it’s fun to always look ahead, let’s take a look back at the history of sports betting legalization across the world and the country.

The history of sports betting legalization…

Gambling has always been a part of human nature, the history of gambling dates back to the ancient land of Mesopotamia. However, it took until 2005 in the age of the internet that countries across the world began take advantage of the internet for sports betting purposes when England became the first country to legalize online sports betting. Since then well over 25 other major countries have also legalized sports betting online but the United States was one of the slower countries inn allowing it.

For the longest time, the only place where Americans could legally place bets on sports was in Las Vegas. However, in 2018, the Supreme Court got rid of federal rulings that kept individual states from legalizing sports betting and handing the ability to states to make those decisions.

The first state to jump in on the fun when it came to sports betting was, “The First State”, Delaware. After sports betting became legal outside Nevada on a federal level, Delaware quickly legalized it themselves. By the end of 2019, 13 more states either legalized sports betting in-state or officially opened sportsbooks and took bets.

Since then, legalization hasn’t slown down as states continue to join the movement. In 2021, Arizona, Arkansas, Connecticut, Louisiana, Nebraska, Ohio , South Dakota, Tennessee, and Virginia made it legal or officially began taking bets.

Sports betting used to be taboo in professional sports, a topic that leagues were not willing to discuss. That has changed, however, the NFL in 2021 officially approved Fox Bet, Bet MGM, PointsBet, and WynnBET as accepted partners of the league, the NHL has gone in a similar direction themselves. The newest CBA in the MLB allows players to accept and perform endorsement deals related to sports gambling while the NBA has become the leader of the four major sports leagues in their stances on sports betting and even has working partnerships with various sportsbooks.

Maryland joined the party in 2020 as well

As part of the 2020 election, Maryland voters approved the idea of sports betting within the state. It took over a year for the state to get everything in order with sports betting officially launching in late 2021. However, it wouldn’t be until this past November that it finally became available online. Entering 2023, Maryland residents can bet on any of the state’s seven online sportsbooks. According to WBALTV out of Baltimore, Maryland, the state was able to generate $219 million in wagers in the month of November. That number should only increase monthly in 2023 and beyond.

Which state’s have yet to legalize sports betting?

As of January 2023, there are 15 states that have yet to legalize sports betting in any way. Those states are; Alabama, Alaska, California, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Kentucky, Maine, Minnesota, Missouri, North Dakota, South Carolina, Texas, Utah, and Vermont. Some of these states have made efforts for it to become legal in their respective states but for most of them, it appears unlikely in the near future.


The future of in-person sportsbooks…

 Perhaps the one drawback of online sports gambling is that it takes business away from in-person sportsbooks. The cost of keeping in-person sportsbooks up and running, perhaps not be worth the limited revenue. Only time will tell but the impact that online sportsbooks have had on those in-person sportsbooks cannot be understated and as gambling continues to grow in popularity, it will be an issue that is likely discussed and addressed within the next five to 10 years. In an industry where the sportsbooks are all about coming out on top, it wouldn’t be shocking to see the closure of many sportsbooks in casinos across the country, opting to only have online sports betting.



Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.