States, Fans Go All In on Sports Gambling

On Friday, North Carolina became the seventeenth state to legalize sports gambling.  Gov. Roy Cooper signed the measure, which will allow wagering at two tribal casinos in the western part of the state.  Unlike other states, mobile wagering will not be permitted.  Also, unlike other states sports betting laws for example NJ online sports betting laws, it will allow bets on college teams from North Carolina, much to the delight of Tar Heel and Blue Devil fans.  Since the Supreme Court allowed states to legalize sports gambling, the industry has crawled out of the shadows and grown by leaps and bounds.

The Stanley Cup is the championship trophy awarded annually to the National Hockey League (NHL) playoff winner. It is the oldest existing trophy to be awarded to a professional sports franchise.

One month after New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy won the Supreme Court case in which he was a named plaintiff, he placed the first legal sports bets in the Garden State’s history.  His $20 bets— on Germany to win that year’s World Cup, and the hometown Devils to hoist this year’s Stanley Cup— did not pay off.  The gamble he made on legalizing sports betting already has.  Last May, New Jersey passed Nevada to become the nation’s biggest monthly sports bettor for the first time.  The state raked in $319 million in total bets taken for $15.5 million in revenue.  Nationwide, sports betting is a $150 billion industry, mostly existing in grey markets.

Long confined to “OVER-whelming” innuendo, and jokes about plays “significant to some,” gambling has also entered the once-forbidden zone of mainstream sports media.  ESPN and Turner Sports have both partnered with Caesars Entertainment to build Las Vegas-based studios.  ESPN already has its own gambling-themed show, “Daily Wager,” which airs on ESPN News, and segments which air during its flagship shows, like SportsCenter and Outside the Lines.  Fox Sports is taking it one step further, partnering with the Star Group, to create a new app that will allow legal users to place bets.

Apps like these, and other legal online sports betting sites, show the most potential for fans and punters. The most popular daily fantasy sports game website seamlessly transitioned into the betting market by spinning off Sportsbook sites.  While all stipulate a user must be within a given state to play, many analysts bet that won’t be a problem soon.  Industry research and consulting firm, Gambling Compliance, estimates sports betting could be legal in as many as 40 states by 2024.  It’s not just for events like the Kentucky Derby or March Madness anymore.  Legal sports gambling is here and growing.

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Brendan Monaghan (CN Staff)

Graduate of The Ohio State University, writer, political consultant, fan of all sports.

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