Sports Betting in the United States of America

October 3, 2020

Online gambling has gained a lot of traction in the United States. Many Americans are trying their hands on betting. If you happen to be in the United States, you are probably very close to a legal gambling state.

The country’s Supreme Court declared the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) ultra vires in May 2018. PASPA, federal law had banned single-game wagering. Each state now has the power to set its own rules for online sports betting. Currently, seventy-five percent of US states have legislation for sports betting. The regulations for sports wagering are different in different states. Some states use online platforms, while others require bets to be placed in a casino.

The credit for the legalization of sports betting goes to the state of New Jersey. In 2012, a bill was passed in the state that sanctioned sports betting after being approved by a non-binding voter referendum. The law permitted sports betting at the city’s four racetracks and twelve casinos.

This law was challenged by major sports leagues like the National Basketball Association (NBA), the National Football League (NFL), etc. A lawsuit was filed by them against the state to prevent sports betting based on the 1992 PASPA that banned sports wagering in the United States except for Delaware, Montana, Nevada, and Oregon. In 2013, the state of New Jersey lost the case.

New Jersey appealed again and challenged the legality of 1992 PASPA. The Supreme Court, in 2018, reversed the decision on the ban, striking down the act, thus making sports betting legal in the country.

Let us look at the list of the twenty-three states where sports betting is

The states where sports wagering has not been launched, but recently made legal are Tennessee – April 2019, North Carolina – July 2019, Washington – March 2020, and Virginia – April 2020.

Let us look at some of the popular sports to bet on.
The Sports Wagering rules impose no restrictions on professional and college sports betting. The sports categories where one can bet on may vary from state to state. However, some categories like NFL (National Football League), NBA (National Basketball Association), MLB (Major League Baseball), NHL (National Hockey League), NAS(National Amateur Sports), MMA (Mixed Martial Arts), CFL (Canadian Football League), CFB (College Football), EL (Euro League Fantasy Basketball), Tennis, Golf, Soccer, college basketball, are broadly free from restrictions across states.

Fantasy Sports
According to the Unlawful Internet Gaming Enforcement Act (UIGEA), betting on fantasy sports differs from traditional sports wagering. It has made a specific exception for sports fantasy games, where it states that the outcome does not rely on chance but the understanding of stats and other information by the player.
Betting on Fantasy Sports is legal in forty-three US states except for Washington, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Arizona, Louisiana, and Hawaii.

With proper laws in place, gambling has now become an established profession in the United States. The country is able to attract tourists and support those who wish to pursue a career in gambling. Drawing people from all walks of life, both young and old, the excitement and ‘keeping you on the edge of your chair’ factor is indeed unmatched!

Written by
Anshula Thakwani Pattanayak

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