Wayne Parry by The Associated Press
ATLANTIC CITY, NJ ( Associated Press) — Americans spent more than $125 billion on games with legal gambling outlets in the four years since a U.S. Supreme Court ruling cleared the way for all 50 states to introduce it. Bet has been placed.
On Saturday’s anniversary of the verdict in a case brought by New Jersey, two-thirds of the nation’s states have legalized sports betting.
In just four years, the industry has morphed into the daily lives of millions of Americans – from those who shunned money hoping for a certain outcome to those watching TV broadcasts, with odds calculations for those struggling with gambling problems. Huh.
You don’t need to be a gambler – or even a sports fan – to be impressed: it’s practically impossible to avoid the industry tsunami of advertising, especially on TV and radio but also in other media. For example, FanDuel is the official odds provider for The Associated Press.
On May 14, 2018, the Supreme Court decided a case that began 10 years ago as the longest shots in New Jersey: a bid to overturn a federal law, the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act, that allowed sports Betting was banned only after four states met a 1991 deadline to legalize it.
Ray Lesniak, the now-retired state senator who filed the first lawsuit against the federal government over the issue, said he worked to provide funding for the states, protection for consumers and attract veteran European betting companies to expand into the US. did – all of which he said came to pass.
“I made a good bet for New Jersey and America,” he said, figuratively speaking. (Lesnick also made the first winning legal sports bet in his state, correctly choosing France to win the World Cup of Football, winning $400 at 8-to-1 odds of $50.)
“When Passpa was repealed, I don’t think any of us would have expected how big (the industry) would be after just four years,” said Karol Corcoran, general manager of FanDuel’s online sportsbook.
Matt Kalish, President and Co-Founder of DraftKings, said: “I got into this industry because I was always the kind of kid who loved to predict things, compete with my friends and make predictions. People who love to do this Let’s say, sports betting has become the number 1 thing for them.
To understand just how much, consider this: That’s slightly more than the amount spent on pet food, supplies and veterinary care across the country last year, and the net income for America’s farmers last year. More than.
Of course, the majority of that money went to the people who won the bet. After expenses, sportsbooks typically hold less than 10% of the total amount of bets they handle. In the first four years of legal betting, their revenue figure is $8.8 billion, according to the American Gaming Association, the gambling industry’s national trade group.
A major reason for the push to legalize sports betting was to protect customers from falling prey to unlicensed bookmakers, many operating as part of organized crime. State regulations include strong consumer protections, monitoring regulators ready to pounce when they see violations.
But legalizing sports betting has not eradicated illegal gambling. Simply visit any of the many sports betting Facebook groups where unlicensed books in other countries promote their offerings; An aggrieved bookie complained on Wednesday that after winning a large bet, he asked his bookie to pay him, only to find the man missing.
Sports betting has been introduced to state lawmakers as a source of new tax revenue, and still is, a particularly attractive option in trying financial times. It has generated $1.3 billion in state and local taxes since 2018, according to the AGA, but the amount many states have is only a drop compared to their overall budget. Some states, such as New York, tax mobile sports betting revenue at 51% – a rate that operators say is not sustainable in the long run.
According to the AGA, as of Friday, 35 states and Washington, DC have legalized sports betting, of which 30 are up and running. (Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly signed a bill in her state on Thursday). Competition measures will take place on November’s vote in a state that has been the Holy Grail for sports betting: California, where wrangling between tribal casinos and commercial gambling companies has left the likely outcome unclear.
Turn on a television and whatever you’re watching, there’s a good chance you’ll be showered with sports betting commercials. FanDuel, DraftKings, BetMGM, PointsBet, Bet365 and especially Caesar Entertainment are flooding the airwaves to promote their sports betting products.
In December, Bill Miller, president and CEO of the American Gaming Association, called the level of sports betting advertising “an enduring arms race.” There are calls in some quarters for voluntary industry self-regulation of advertising to remove the possibility of the type of strict government regulation that exists in England.
Already, Massachusetts lawmakers are considering banning sports betting ads immediately before, during and immediately after live broadcasts of sporting events. New Jersey Assemblyman Ralph Caputo, himself a former casino marketing executive, said, “The over-marketing of this industry is obscene.”
Kalish, president of DraftKings, said that the current level of advertising is necessary for “onboarding of customers” and compared it to the level of advertisements for other new products such as cryptocurrencies.
“I don’t think it’s a forever state,” he said of the current ad levels.
FanDuel’s Corcoran said the company is satisfied with its current advertising levels, noting that “the industry is still in growth mode.”
Felicia Grondin, executive director of The Council on Compulsive Gambling of New Jersey, cited a Barron’s report that said $292 million was spent on sports betting ads in the US in 2020. A year later, it grew to $725 million.
Grondin said that with the added exposure and easier availability of betting on mobile phones (more than 80% of sports bets in the US are placed this way), there has been an increase in people seeking help for gambling problems related to sports betting.
In 2018, the New Jersey Council’s 1-800-GAMBLER telephone helpline received 9,490 calls, 5% of which were primarily due to sports betting issues. As of 2021, Line has received 23,977 calls, of which 23% were related to sports betting.
“It’s disturbing, it’s worrying and it’s getting worse every day,” Grondin testified before New Jersey lawmakers this week. “It’s so easy to gamble today. You can just take out your phone and sit on your couch.”
Four years ago, sports bookmakers had few options, including predicting the outcome of the game or player’s performance before the event began. Since then, the chain of potential bets, or “markets”, has exploded, due in large part to the rise in in-game betting, where gamblers can react to events as a game unfolds and wager accordingly. puts. It has become the fastest growing segment of the fast growing industry. Many sportsbooks now offer and encourage multi-event bets, known as parlays, through free bets or refunds of losing bets.
And while more established sportsbooks look to increase their share of the market, the amount of money it takes to enter and compete continues to grow in an industry where many executives at leading companies say they are less than some of its competitors. Either hope to merge or stop trading.
FanDuel’s Corcoran said the foreseeable future lies in growing the industry and its individual companies.
“We feel fortunate to have access to about 38% of the American population,” he said. “But there are still millions of people who don’t have legal sports betting yet. We would love to be able to operate where we are.”
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Wayne Parry by The Associated Press