The World of Official Betting

Uncategorized Apr 20, 2024

The world of official betting has a lot going on. It’s a complex dance involving multiple stakeholders, including sportsbook operators, leagues, casinos/gaming entities, state lotteries, and of course state and federal lawmakers.

The primary concern for most state policymakers is maximizing taxable revenue. And while there are various factors that come into play, that often boils down to decisions about tax rates, which regulatory body is best equipped to oversee the industry, and so forth.

While the NFL, NHL, and MLB are a bit more ambivalent about legal betting (they’d prefer to regulate their own markets), the rest of the leagues have taken a different approach. Many have struck partnerships with gaming entities and/or sportsbooks directly, such as MGM becoming the NBA’s first official gambling partner or the Golden Knights striking deals with Betfred.

As a result of these dynamics, sports betting has become a major growth area in states that have embraced it. But it’s not without controversy. For instance, the integrity of sports events has been compromised by point shaving (players skewing odds to their benefit), spot-fixing (a single player action being fixed), and overall match-fixing (an entire event or tournament being fixed). Regardless, legal sports betting remains popular around the globe, with France’s regulated market leading the way with annual revenues exceeding $4.6 billion.