Dollars don’t lie: The public clearly wants it, and it keeps getting bigger and bigger.
But sports betting still remains technically illegal — for almost all of the country. The question is: How much longer will the nation tolerate this outdated thinking?
Let’s review: A record $158 million was legally wagered on Super Bowl LII at Nevada sportsbooks.
Yet the American Gaming Association estimates this $158 million amount is a lousy, ridiculous drop in the gambling bucket. The group says Americans wagered $4.6 billion on the biggest game of the year.
That means a staggering 97% of all bets placed on Super Bowl LII were illegal.
Something has to give.
Can the major sports leagues continue to pretend there isn’t a deep, passionate desire to gamble on games? Can state governments — starved for revenue and tax dollars — continue to ignore the potential revenue stream?
“Thanks to the failed federal ban on sports betting, Americans are sending billions of their hard-earned dollars to corner bookies, shady offshore operators and other criminal enterprises,” said Geoff Freeman, president and CEO of the American Gaming Association. “The big question we’re asking: Is 2018 finally the year when governments, sporting bodies and the gaming industry work together to put the illegal sports betting market out of business?”
How long will the American ban last? When will sports betting be properly legalized and regulated in the U.S. — just like the rest of the world?
How long will the public tolerate a ban on something it clearly wants?