The U.S. sports betting industry is on track to reach record levels in 2023, with experts predicting that the total sports betting handle across the 37 states that allow sports betting could hit $100 billion by the end of the year. This would surpass the 2022 figure of $93.2 billion, according to a report by the Associated Press (AP).
Six states have passed legislation or allowed the launch of sportsbooks this year, contributing to the industry’s expansion. Additionally, Florida has relaunched sports betting after a two-year ban, following a U.S. Supreme Court ruling to reinstate operations.
Despite this growth, the two most populous states in the country – California and Texas – have yet to legalize sports betting, creating a significant barrier to further expansion. Gambling legalization in California, in particular, has been a long time coming, with the failure of a 2022 gaming ballot initiative. Baird Fogel, an attorney working with the sports betting industry, emphasized the importance of garnering support from Native Indian tribes in order to push for legalization in California.
Fogel highlighted the potential tax revenue from sports betting, emphasizing that the support of tribal casinos is crucial for the state to move forward. Similar agreements have been made in states like Connecticut and New Jersey, demonstrating the potential for collaboration with tribal casinos.
In Texas, where efforts to legalize sports betting have faced significant resistance, the situation is similarly challenging. Despite substantial donations from casino mogul Miriam Adelson, efforts to pass a sports betting bill in the Texas Senate have been unsuccessful. Republican consultant Bill Miller emphasized the need for patience and financial resources to navigate the complexities of legalizing gambling in the state.
Looking ahead, states like Georgia and Missouri are reportedly waiting for legislation in 2024, with Fogel stressing the importance of regulating gambling to ensure integrity and tax revenue. The industry continues to evolve, with the potential for further expansion as more states consider legalizing sports betting.