Ever since PASPA was overturned in 2018, the legal sports betting market has been thriving. Not everyone is on board yet although, with each passing month, it seems like another state throws its hat in the ring. We’ll take a look at how legislation has made it possible for gamblers to be in sports legally within the U.S.
Some States Already Cashing in Big
When the federal government decided to overturn PASPA, it meant that legislation is changing in the U.S and that favors the betting population. For those unfamiliar with what PASPA stands for, it is an acronym for Pro and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992. PASPA made it illegal to bet on sports in the United States with the exception of a few states.
Delaware was the first state to accept a legal sports wager outside Nevada back in June 2018. PASPA had been struck down by the U.S Supreme Court only one month earlier. While they were the first, their overall handle pales in comparison to their neighbors in Pennsylvania. In the beginning, Delaware benefited from the close proximity to Philadelphia. SEPTA (Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority) operates subways and commuter trains in and around the Philadelphia area. The last stop on the line is Delaware which sports bettors in Philadelphia used back in 2018 to commute across state lines, make their wager, and come back home in time to watch the game.
That is until 2019 when Pennsylvania went live with their legal sports betting market. The early returns were slow because mobile betting did not launch right away but Pennsylvania is poised to become one of the biggest markets in the country. It’s not hard to figure out why either: there are 8 professional sports franchises in the state, not to mention all of the college sports as well. As their market continues to mature, it is sure to take some of the money pouring into New Jersey who has been the biggest winner of PASPA being struck down.
New Jersey Looking to Challenge Nevada’s Crown
New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy said that he believes that the rapid growth of sports gambling in his home state means that it could pass Nevada as the top sports betting market in the country by next year. While his projection might be a little aggressive, consider the fact that New Jersey just broke the record for sports betting handle in a month with $688 million in August. Nevada had set the record last November with $614 million.
New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy signed legislation Monday legalizing sports betting, with plans to place the first wager at Monmouth Racetrack himself Thursday https://t.co/Ktnzd2yeia pic.twitter.com/CTkRcHc97B
— CBS News (@CBSNews) June 11, 2018
The previous state record in New Jersey was $562 million and the state can thank the return of professional sports for the tremendous August surge. The Garden State has been very lucky in one respect to their overall handle. Their neighbors Pennsylvania and New York have been very slow to launch their legal sports betting markets. New York has really dropped the ball by not legalizing mobile wagering in the state.
That means if you live in Manhattan, in order to place a bet, you would have to drive upstate to a brick-and-mortar sportsbook to place your bet. Or you could just go across the bridge to New Jersey and back in a few minutes and accomplish the same thing. You can guess the type of boom that has had to the numbers in Jersey. Manhattan is one of the wealthiest cities in the world and until New York gets its act together, you can expect that Park Avenue money to continue to flow out of state. Pennsylvania had a similar situation but they did launch their own sports betting apps in May 2019 which has seen their sports betting handle surge.
Mobile Sports Betting Is the Big Money Maker
The handle coming out of New Jersey on a regular basis is all the proof you need that mobile sports betting is the difference between success and failure in the legal sports betting industry. The states that have failed to launch mobile betting have seen their handle suffer as a result. That fact is only logical as depending on the layout of the given state, having to drive to an actual casino to make a bet might not be convenient.
New York isn’t the only state to launch without a mobile market and the difference in handle for these states has undeniably been affected. Delaware, Mississippi, Rhode Island, and of course New York to name a few, have all launched with no mobile betting on offer. New York for their part has realized their glaring mistake as New Jersey literally rakes in the cash flowing out of their state. The situation between New York and New Jersey isn’t uncommon either. Geography forced the hands of politicians in Illinois who watched as Chicago residents boarded free shuttles every few hours to take the 45-minute ride to a casino in southern Indiana to place legal sports wagers.
This is a situation similar to what Pennsylvania dealt with last year and Louisiana and Florida are dealing with now. Residents of those states have been flocking to Mississippi to get in on their favorite SEC teams. That seems to be the domino that will keep knocking the rest over. Sure you might not want gambling in your state for a variety of reasons but if you see your tax dollars being poured into another state, how long are you going to continue to allow that until you finally fold? The answer to that question is music to sports bettors across the United States as it seems like only a matter of time before you can place a legal sports bet in most of the country.