Americans bet an estimated $150 billion on sports, with the vast majority of that sum wagered illegally. But – depending on where you reside – soon you may no longer be forced to take a trip to Las Vegas to put money on your NFL picks for the weekend. Soon, you may be able to visit your local casino or racetrack to wager money on sports.
On May 14, 2018, the Supreme Court struck down the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA). PASPA was passed in 1992 and made it illegal for states to “sponsor, operate, advertise, promote, license, or authorize” sports wagering. Nevada, Oregon, Montana, and Delaware were the only states exempt from the law.
PASPA was passed out of concern that sports gambling would change the nature of the entertainment sports provide. However, the Supreme Court ruling paves the way for individual states to create a regulatory framework under which sports betting would be legalized within their borders.
Covers is ready to answer some of the questions you may have about what the Supreme Court ruling means for the world of sports betting.
When Will My State Have Sports Betting?
New Jersey could begin operating sports books as early as the next couple of weeks. Laws on the regulation of sports betting are already making its way through the state’s legislature, and the state’s casinos and racetracks are wasting no time preparing to accept sports bets.
Delaware stands to be the next state to pass sports betting legislation. Delaware was one of the states grandfathered in the PASPA ban already and, technically, the state doesn’t need to enact more regulation.
Pennsylvania, Mississippi, and West Virginia passed laws in advance of the Supreme Court’s decision and are on track to see sports betting before the end of the year. California and New York are likely to legalize sports betting in 2019.
What About Other States?
Any state that prohibits sports betting in its constitution will have to wait until at least 2019 to change legislation on sports betting. But according to Eilers & Krejcik Gaming, a research firm, up to 32 states are set to authorize sports betting legislature by 2023.
Can I Bet Online?
Betting online or on a mobile device is likely not going to be available as quickly as land-based betting. But given the likely popularity of such an option, it is only a matter of time before sports betting apps and websites are created. Whether or not the option to bet online is available to you will depend on the state you live in.
In all instances, a sportsbook will be required to have a brick-and-mortar operation to offer online betting.
What Is Going to Happen to Vegas?
Most likely, nothing particularly significant.
Las Vegas’s status as a national tourist attraction is unlikely to change because PASPA has been overturned. People are still going to travel to Vegas for the experience of betting offered by Nevada’s sportsbooks. Perhaps other sportsbooks will offer slightly better NFL odds for the Super Bowl – or NBA odds for the Finals and other sports – in order to draw in bigger crowds. But, overall, that’s unlikely to draw away a significant number of travelers away from Sin City.
Who Benefits from the Supreme Court Decision?
The Gambling Industry
As mentioned above, Americans already wager $150 billion on sports. Without PASPA, casinos and sportsbooks across the country stand to make a lot of money when states pass legislation to regulate sports betting.
Although the leagues were on the losing side of the court decision, there is potential for them to benefit from sports betting. The integrity of sport is unlikely to suffer. Sports betting is widespread in Britain, for example, but the Premier League remains scandal-free from corruption and match-fixing. Leagues in the U.S. are likely to generate extra revenue by pushing states to impose an “integrity fee” on sportsbooks, so that sportsbooks have to pay the league to host bets on its sports.
Although the sports media is already dedicated to keeping fans entertained, people are likely to search for more information before placing bets on sports. As a result, TV ratings and story clicks are likely to grow with the legalization of sports betting.
How Exactly Does Sports Betting Work?
Betting on Football
There are three types of bets you can place when making your NFL picks.
- Straight bets are the most common type of bet in football. A straight bet (also called a line bet) requires you to pick a winning team and a predetermined margin by which the team will win. If you pick the Dolphins to beat the Jets by over six points, you will win if the Dolphins score seven or more points than the Jets. But if the Jets win or lose by six or less points, then you lose your bet.
- Over/Under bets require you to pick whether or not the total score in a game will be less or more than the number listed. For example, if the over/under for the Dolphins-Jets game is set to 35.5 points, and you wager the score to be under, then you win your bet if the total number of points scored is 35 or less.
- Money Line bets require you to pick the winner of the game based on who is the favorite and underdog in the matchup. Betting on the underdog will win you more money than betting on the favorite, but it is a riskier pick to make.
Betting on Other Sports
Making your NBA picks, NHL picks, or MLB picks is very similar to football. Straight bets and over/under bets work the same way but are simply adjusted to accommodate different numbers for scores. And since all of those sports are team sports, money lines work the same way.
Covers was founded in 1995 and has since been a one-stop-shop for current and accurate gaming information. It provides essential regain for any level of sports bettor. Covers features odds, picks, and lives scores for the four major U.S. sports leagues (NFL, NBA, MLB, and NHL), as well as college sports, NASCAR, and other sports.
One unique feature that Covers provides is NFL picks, NBA picks, NHL picks, and picks from other supports by experts and pros in the business. You can find experts’ picks and track their winnings and records in real time on their site.