Four Years After Sports Gambling Went Legal Nationwide, Americans Have Wagered $125 Billion

The industry remains in flux

Gambling odds
Odds are displayed at the bookmaker stalls on day three of the QIPCO Guineas Festival at Newmarket Racecourse, Newmarket.
David Davies/PA Images via Getty Images

In 2018, a Supreme Court ruling paved the way for sports betting across the United States. The ruling left several elements open for further discussion, including whether or not specific sports would regulate betting themselves and how different states would handle the matter. But it’s been a seismic shift nonetheless — something that was once limited to a number of locations across the country is now ubiquitous, complete with high-profile advertising.

Four years later, what has the effect of that ruling brought with it? A new report at The Guardian offers an in-depth look at precisely that subject, and the answer is relatively simple — it’s led to a lot of money being put on the line.

Americans have spent $125 billion on sports betting since 2018, according to the report. Of that amount, the article cites statistics from the American Gambling Association noting that $8.8 billion went to sportsbooks, and another $1.3 billion went back to state governments in the form of taxes. It’s also worth pointing out that sports gambling isn’t legal everywhere yet, and a number of states still have prohibitions in place.

That doesn’t mean that the industry doesn’t have more fluctuations coming down the pipeline, however. The article notes a significant uptick in calls to New Jersey’s hotline for people concerned about their own gambling in the last four years, as well as efforts in Massachusetts to regulate when sports betting commercials can air relative to sporting events.

What will sports betting look like four years from now? That’s anyone’s guess — but it sure seems like there are more changes on the way.

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