Online sports betting is now legal in over two dozen states, while most have only in-store betting. So, we are tracking to all 50 states (and Washington D.C.). Where is every place? Some states have no laws on in-store betting at all. Others have some regulations, but no laws at all.
The easiest way to look for in-store or retail sales is with the Better Business Bureau. They keep a file of complaints about anything that goes on between businesses and customers. For online sports betting, there are at least three major entities making an effort to accept bets or collect money for sports betting: casinos, professional sports leagues, and individual sports bettors. Each has its reasons for either accepting bets, collecting money, or not. In each case, the status of the law varies greatly.
Casinos are not legally accepting bets on in-store sales in states where they are legal. The lack of a regulated industry makes it easy for in-store transactions to be accepting of one form of another, which can result in fraudulent activities. Casinos are also very large companies with deep pockets, and their competitors would be hard pressed to throw away money like they do. Online sports betting will never be legal anywhere where it is conducted in person, so the only option may be online sports betting via a computer.
Professional sport leagues like the NFL and NBA are hesitant to accept in-store bets, because it would force them to open their books and take the money from them. The reluctance in part stems from the risk of corruption. The National Collegiate Athletic Association has already moved in this direction, and it is only a matter of time before other professional leagues follow suit.
The lack of legalized sports betting does not mean the industry will never exist. It just means that progress will come at a gradual pace. It is difficult to project what the future holds, but as long as there are humans who enjoy betting on games, there will be a market for online betting as well. One thing to keep an eye out for is the timeline for the legalization of online betting, which varies from state to state.
Two groups are spearheading efforts to legalize betting in the United States. One is made up of government officials and gaming interests, and the other is comprised of individual entrepreneurs interested in making money off of betting. The idea is to create a situation where gambling is seen as a business instead of a crime and to create an industry for betting that can be operated by anyone with a capital. Of course, the likelihood of any of this happening anytime soon is slim to none.
The other group trying to get laws passed that legalizes online betting is working to create a regulated system for online gaming. In the meantime, it appears that all that is available from the state level is to rely on the state laws to ensure that sportsbooks aren’t running illegal operations. Since there are almost guaranteed to be casinos in the near future, there isn’t much that can be done about that. But it would seem that there is a good chance that at some point there will be changes to how Las Vegas casinos are operated, because the governing bodies that regulate them have been trying for years to introduce new gaming technology into their casinos.
The issue of legalized sports betting will probably never become a hot topic of debate in Congress or the White House. But it is something that is definitely going to be looked into, especially since there is no clear path as to how such legislation will get through the legislature. The biggest worry right now is that Congress is unlikely to be able to pass a comprehensive overhaul before the end of the 2021 election. If that were to happen, then casinos could be legalized before the 2021 election. Although there is still no clear resolution on this issue, everyone that follows politics knows that if and when it comes to gambling and regulation, there will be an opportunity to play first bingo.