For almost two decades, Americans have been gambling online illegally with many UK online sites being the beneficiaries. For the most part, US gamblers have been able to do so without impunity because of the logistics related to investigation and prosecution. Even today, American online gamblers can take advantage of a Comeon voucher code without any realistic threat of prosecution. Of course, all of this is fast becoming moot as the US has made great strides in the last two years towards the legalization of online gambling.
Over the past 12 years, Seton Hall University (NJ) has published regular surveys related to sports, sports betting and sports business interests in the US. With the US online gambling market currently hitting full stride, the University decided to put forth an updated survey related to changes in the laws regarding sports gambling.
As a point of reference, it’s important to remember that the US Supreme Court lifted the federal ban against online sports gambling in May of 2018. As a result of court’s decision, the responsibility for legalizing such activities has been remanded to the individual state legislatures. Each state government now has the opportunity to decide on sports gambling legislation for its citizen.
At this point, eight states have already moved to legalize sports gambling for its residents. The list includes West Virginia, Nevada, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Mississippi, Delaware, Montana and Oregon. It’s worth noting that four states (Nevada, Delaware, New Jersey and Pennsylvania) have already passed legislation in support of online casino gambling. It seems to follow that online sports gambling legislation should be coming in the near future.
With all of this robust activity going on in the US gambling market, the Seton Hall Sports Poll asked Americans the following questions about legalized online sports betting and sports betting in general. Here’s a peek as some of the results:
Question: Which jurisdiction should be used to legislate sports betting – at the state or federal levels? 65% of the respondents stated it should be handled at the state level while only 26% believe generic federal laws would be better.
Question: Will the legalization of sports betting create more issues related to “game-fixing”? 61% of the respondents worry American sports leagues could see a material increase in game-fixing issues.
Question: What platforms do you plan to use if online sports betting is legalized? 40% of respondents indicated they would choose to use their mobile devices to place sports bets instead of using brick-and-mortar casinos or sports betting parlors.
Question: Will sports gambling have an affect on sports event viewership? 70% of the respondents claimed they would be more likely to watch sports and become avid fans if they had an opportunity to legally bet on games.
From these four questions, it’s easy to surmise legalized sports gambling, online and otherwise, could have a profound effect on the way some people view sports on America. After only 6 months since the US Supreme Court’s decision, its too early to gather meaningful data. However, the picture should start getting clearer as more states pass sports betting legislation.