Sports betting in the US generated $220B in 5 years

The legal sports betting industry has grown rapidly in the five years since the US Supreme Court cleared the way for all 50 states to offer it, with Americans betting over $220 billion on sports through legal gambling outlets. Two-thirds of the country now offers legal sports betting, with additional states expected to follow suit. The industry is also far-reaching, with advertisements reaching most US homes during sporting events and even non-sports programming. However, recent scandals have put a spotlight on wagering safeguards. The legalization of sports betting has opened up opportunities for additional tax revenue for states, a small auxiliary revenue stream for casinos and horse tracks, and a way to keep many people away from the dangers of unregulated offshore gambling web sites. It has also caused problems, with calls to hotlines for compulsive gambling increasing significantly in the five years since sports betting was legalized and made available on cell phones. The industry has also had to contend with suspicious activity and illegal marketing to students under the legal age of 21.

While the legal sports betting industry has been profitable for some companies, achieving profitability has been a long, hard slog. FanDuel became the first to report a profitable quarter in the second leg of 2022 and expects to be profitable for 2023. DraftKings expects its first profitable quarter at the end of this year, and BetMGM expects to enter the black in the second half of this year. The trend of gambling companies locating sportsbooks in or next to pro sports stadiums is likely to continue, and the industry is constantly coming up with new ways to bet, such as microbetting, which can be a series of rapid-fire bets. This type of betting has raised concerns from those who treat problem gambling due to its capacity to lure gamblers into one wager after another in a very short period of time, potentially racking up large losses quickly.

In the next five years, the industry is expected to see more multi-faceted deals among teams, leagues, and stadiums, and among betting operators and media companies, hotel chains, and beverage companies. Sportsbooks as a whole may slow down their promotional spending to rein in costs, and uncertainty is expected to continue in the near term about the prospects for online sports betting in California, the nation's largest state, and in Florida, where it is tied up in litigation.


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