Future of Sports Betting

Sports BettingESPN estimated that $95 billion will be bet on NFL and NCAA college football in the 2015-16 season. In comparison, NFL as a whole, which is more powerful and more profitable than it has ever been before, will make roughly $12 billion this year. While $95 billion is a staggering number, what might be even more staggering is that 96% of that 95 billion will be gambled illegally.

That’s a tremendous amount of unregulated gambling going on in the United States and a potential industry ready to flourish. Just looking at explosion of websites like FanDuel and DraftKing, which have recently run into legal issues of their own, there’s no doubt that there’s an incredible demand for organized betting.

This huge potential of legal betting from many different sources could lead to an increase in sports betting in other forms. Arbitrage sports betting takes into account the fact that bookmakers place different prices or odds on a sports event. Finding these differences can lead to making bets for all potential outcomes while still making a profit. Some websites like Sports-Tipping post examples of these kinds of opportunities.

Sports betting is currently only legal in the state of Nevada, but New Jersey has been aggressively pushing to make sports betting legal, and many other states have considered sports betting bills in their legislature.

While it may seem like a no-brainer to make sports betting legalized, most professional sports organizations are opposed to legalized sports betting. The NFL and the NCAA in particular are worried about games being thrown and the quality and integrity of their games and brand being jeopardized. The NBA’s Adam Silver is one of the few that has actively supported professional sports betting and called on Congress to put into place a structure for states to implement sports betting, and MLB’s Rob Manfried has called for a “fresh approach” to sports betting.

While there are many issues and obstacles to getting sports betting legalized, there is clearly a huge market for it. In the meantime, I expect under the table sports betting to continue to flourish and online betting services to flood the market with every legal opportunity or loophole they can find.

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