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After 1-Year - Sports Betting Gets Its Due


It was exactly one year ago this week that the US Supreme Court lifted the federal ban against sports betting. With the right to decide the sports betting issue remanded to the state level, a number of states, including New Jersey, Mississippi, Delaware. Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and West Virginia, joined Nevada as the only states where sports gamblers could legally bet on sports events.

The results of the first year's activity are in, and as predicted, sports gambling has been a smashing success among participants. At the gambler level, sports gamblers have been thrilled with the opportunity to place sports wagers with local sports books instead of venturing offshore under questionable conditions. For the online bookmakers, it has created another reliable source of revenue. At the state level, tax revenues are flowing into each state's respective coffers. 

Let's take a look at the states that participated in creating just over $3.3 billion sports gambling revenues over the last 12 months:

  • New Jersey - opened June 2018 - Revenues of $2,638,367,548 - Taxable income of $178,187,361
  • Delaware - opened June 2018 - Revenues of $117,892,225 - Taxable income of $13,742,416
  • Mississippi - opened August 2018 - Revenues of $249,899,835 - Taxable income of $25,624,070
  • West Virginia - opened September 2018 - Revenues of $104,386,584 - Taxable income of $10,440,192
  • Pennsylvania - opened November 2018 - Revenues of $125,627,832 - Taxable income of $12,589,960
  • Rhode Island - opened November 2018 - Revenues of $77,108,456 - Taxable income of $1,848,495

When added together, all six states generated $3,313,282,480 compared to $4,578,688,905 for Nevada. The taxable income number came back at $242,432,495 compared to $227,423,699 for Nevada. At an average tax rate of 10%, that's over $24 million in revenues the states can claim that didn't exist before. 

A Peak Ahead 

The numbers are very strong over the first year of activity. So far this year, another five states have already passed legislation to allow its residents to wager on sports legally. With another 10-15 states waiting in the wings, the US sport betting industry is ready to explode. By all indications, it's looking like a win-win-win for everyone concerned. There will be some fallout over problem gambling issues, but for now, it looks like it's all systems go for the remainder of 2019 and heading into 2020.

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