Over the last 10 years, sports betting in the USA has had a few ups and downs. A number of restrictive laws forced legitimate bookmakers both online and offline to pull out of the local market, leaving just a handful of bad actors behind. Instead, US players were forced to seek out offshore bookmakers and use a small number of payment options, making the whole process complicated, costly, and a bit of a hassle.
But 2020 could be the year that things change.
Changes in legislation
The Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) had previously prevented states from offering legal sports gambling or offering licenses to private companies. This federal restriction had only a couple of exceptions such as Las Vegas, but most states had their hands tied by PASPA and the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA).
Then in 2018, the US Supreme Court revoked PASPA which gave states a lot more power in deciding how to handle online gambling. Some took action immediately, passing bills that legalised various types of gambling including sports betting both online and offline. Illinois, Delaware, and New Jersey were some of these states and even more have legislation in the pipeline, as well as ongoing public debates and draft bills.
Changes in mentality
Over the last decade, it has become clear to lawmakers in most states that forbidding sports betting really doesn’t work. For example, many sites will still onboard American clients, meaning they are able to place bets on sports games, play blackjack, or sit down for a game of virtual poker. The reality is that if someone wants to do something, they will always find a way to do it. This results in players being at risk by using sights that are registered in dubious jurisdictions and states don’t get any taxes.
Both of these issues can be resolved through the introduction of responsible legislation that can create a new niche for online sports betting.
There is still a lot of work to be done in the US before sports betting online becomes legal, but steps are most definitely being taken. 2020 is expected to be a pivotal year as more states are expected to put laws in place that will legalise online gambling and sports betting.
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