For about 26 years, betting legally on sports was only allowed in one US state. However, in May 2018, the US sports betting industry experienced a breakthrough when the US Supreme Court struck out a federal law prohibiting betting on sports events.

The regulation which barred many sports fans from betting on their favorite teams and games is known as the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA). It made it illegal to carry out any form of gambling or betting on sports activities.

After the passage of the bill in 1992, there was a public outcry against it by prominent individuals, sports organizations and most notably, the state of New Jersey. In March 2009, a suit was filed against PASPA by Senator Raymond Lesniak representing New Jersey State. Two years later, the 2009 lawsuit was followed up by a referendum passed by New Jersey voters stating their support for legal sports betting at casinos and racetracks.

Major sports organizations such as the NBA, NCAA, and the MLB opposed the move in August 2012 and filed a suit against the New Jersey state to oppose its plan to allow sports betting on college and professional games. The next few years witnessed a flurry of subsequent lawsuits and legal action that went back and forth between the affected parties.

Eventually, in May 2018, the Supreme Court of the United States ruled that PASPA is unconstitutional, and concluded that states should have the right to choose whether or not to legalize sports betting within their territories. With the overturning of the regulation, what does the future of sports betting hold for the sports entertainment industry?

Apart from the delight, the ruling has brought to sports fans, casinos, betting services, and importantly, sports leagues, the ruling is expected to have a massive impact on the future of sports entertainment and the US economy as a whole.

With the legalization of sports betting, it is expected to herald the rise of a new multi-billion-dollar industry, and many stakeholders are also rushing to cash in on its potentials. The industry is projected to create 86,819 direct jobs and 129,852 indirect jobs, with a labor income of $4 billion and $7 billion respectively. The jobs created are expected to yield a fiscal impact of $8.4 billion and add about $22.4 billion to the US GDP.

For more illustrations of how legal sports betting will have on impact on the US economy, check out the infographic below.


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