Will Americans Make Betting on Sporting Events Legal? 67% of Questioned Have Placed a Bet

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sports betting in the usa - legalization and habits
US Sports Betting - Legalization and Habits

States across the country have been legalizing sports betting, but the situation is far from resolved on a federal level. The battles are still unfolding in several territories in the US, but the people’s favour goes to legal sports betting, according to various polls.

The Washington Post and the University of Maryland’s Shirley Povich Center for Sports Journalism, including the Center for Democracy and Civic Engagement, joined forces for a sports trends research project which revealed growing support for legal sports betting among Americans. The experts of Nostrabet.com have analysed the research and highlighted its most important factors in the following text.


The Nation is Growing More Accepting of Legal Sportsbooks

The Supreme Court overturned a law limiting sports gambling to Nevada several years ago. Currently, betting has been legalized and operational in DC and 30 states. Sports betting has been legalized but not yet made available in a few others. The nation’s attitude towards legalizing sports betting was never firmly opposed. However, it took some time to reach a majority that approved the practice.

In 1993, only 41 percent of Americans were for making betting on professional sporting events legal. In 2017, the percentage of people who said the same was 55. Now, we have 66 percent of Americans favour sports betting legalization.

Have intensified sports betting marketing influenced these numbers?


Ads for Sports Betting Are Commonplace

Gambling advertising can be found allover as soon as you tune in to a sports broadcast. Sports television is flooded by celebrity-backed advertisements, and this doesn’t seem to bother Americans much. They are significantly more concerned about ads for prescription drugs than sports betting and beer ads. Only 37 per cent have signalled their frustration with betting ads, while 54 percent are more botherder by prescription drug ads.

Apparently, it’s not all good television.

how american accepting legalization of sports betting

American Sports Bettors: Where, How and How Often do They Bet?

The Post-UMD sports trend poll also investigated how Americans usually placed their bets on pro or college sports in the past five years. Some 67% of the participants said they usually placed bets on sports among friends or through an office poll. People who placed wagers online using betting or fantasy sports websites and apps amounted to half of the participants (49 per cent). At the same time, 40% said they wagered at casinos in person. Only 12 per cent admitted to wagering at stadiums or arenas.

The share of Americans betting on sports has remained relatively stable over the years. Avid sports fans commonly bet on sports, and the Post-UMD poll indicates 48 per cent have placed a bet in the past five years, while 32% wager at least once a month or more often. Looking at sports bettors under 50, the poll found that 62 per cent of them have had experience with online betting. Older bettors are less proficient, with 26 per cent reporting to have bet online in the past five years.

The portion of adults who placed bets before they were of legal age stands at 11%, whereas only 7 per cent are aged 21-25. It appears that the increased availability of online sports betting hadn’t inflated the number of young adults who placed bets before they turned 21.


Some of the Most Populous US States Have Yet to Introduce Betting

States like California and Florida haven’t legalized gambling and sports betting yet. Californian voters will decide on sports betting legalization in November 2022. Two sports betting initiatives qualified for the ballot, Proposition 26 and Proposition 27.

Proposition 26 is supported by Native American tribes and aims to legalize in-person sports betting at tribal casinos and racetracks. Proposition 27 is supported by brands like FanDuel and DraftKings and intends to legalize sports betting online. Both initiatives include a 10% tax and allow betting to persons 21 or older.

betting habits in the us

The entire nation is monitoring closely how these ballot measures will turn out. The California model might be a good one and serve as a guideline for more than a dozen other states without legal sports betting. Both sides have entered a brutal marketing war, spending big to get the attention of as many voters as possible. The exciting thing is that voters could approve both propositions. Such an outcome might be sorted out in court. Alternatively, they could reject both, which would be back to the drawing board for the Californians.


It’s Coming

The stakes are high in sports betting, and the trajectory for reaching a legalized and regulated market is not always the same. While some states have a fully operational system that generates significant revenue, other states are playing it slow. Various stakeholders pull the strings, from existing casinos and lawmakers to tribal casinos, leagues, and sportsbook operators.

Residents of Ohio, Maine, California, and Massachusetts will soon be able to enjoy legal sports betting services, and discussions are taking place in several other states. It appears a few more years are required for the implementation to come full circle, with all the formalities concluded from one state to the next. In the meantime, online sports betting and sports betting, in general, remain hugely and undisputedly popular throughout The Land of Opportunity.

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Veselin Ignatov

Veselin Ignatov

Veselin's primary job is to create unique content, such as reviews and analyses of different bookmakers and other topics from the iGaming industry.
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