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American Betting Handle Tops $125 Billion Since 2018 PASPA Ruling

Written by: Mike Lukas
Updated October 14, 2022
10 min read
  • Since May 2018, U.S. Bettors Have Wagered $125 Billion Nationwide
  • Over Thirty States Have Legalized Sports Betting with More to Follow
  • States Earmark Sports Betting Tax Revenue for Worthy Causes
American Betting Handle 125 Billion Paspa Ruling

Since May 2018, U.S. Bettors Have Wagered $125 Billion Nationwide

It’s no surprise the U.S. – a country built by revolutionary gamblers who risked crossing the pond to set up their own nation – has a legal sports betting craze erupting, a new market worth billions that seems to have no end to its growth potential after only a few years of existence.

The latest tally shows a $125 billion handle in the four years since the U.S. Supreme Court overturned the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992 (PASPA) back in May 2018, a move that turned over the choice to create a sports betting market to the 50 states.

There are some states with sports betting markets that have been around the longest – West Virginia, New Jersey, Delaware, Rhode Island, and New Mexico – while other states newer to the game with larger populations and markets – New York, PA – have also made their mark.

What all sports betting states have accepted is that their residents love to gamble, and now money that was being spent out of state using offshore sportsbooks or by using illicit bookies is being gambled in-state (where it’s legal) and the revenue it produces is being taxed.

Over thirty states and D.C. have now taken advantage of this.

Over Thirty States Have Legalized Sports Betting with More to Follow

The number of states whose lawmakers have legalized sports betting has been growing exponentially as Martin Lycka, Senior VP for American Regulatory Affairs and Responsible Gambling for Entain, one of the largest online gaming companies in the world, describes:

Legalized sports betting has firmly established itself as an inalienable part of American consumer culture. Since 2018, over thirty states have launched their betting markets, with California, Massachusetts and Texas expected to join the fray in the months and years to come. The sports betting hype is being propelled to yet further heights through sports and media partnerships the industry will have struck.

It would seem as if legal sports betting in all fifty states is becoming an inevitable journey that few of them will be able to resist given what’s at stake is billions of dollars being spent in an economy that could certainly use any financial sparks it can get.

And as lawmakers are quick to remind voters, it’s all for a good cause, with most of the tax revenue going towards worthy causes.

States Earmark Sports Betting Tax Revenue for Worthy Causes

Every state chooses what it wants to do with the tax revenue its legal sports betting market generates, and the various causes that have been chosen range from public education and infrastructure to battling addictions including to gambling, all worthy ways to spend that money.

The growth of this relatively new U.S. market will, of course, hit its peak at some point, and as Entain VP Lycka points out that this is a positive sign that the regulatory guidelines that are in place are working the way they should be, saying:

…it is fair to say that the initial honeymoon period of sports betting in the United States may now start coming to an end as a result of more stringent consumer protection regulation, which is of course a good thing, I expect the markets to continue going from strength to strength on its way to full maturity.

Who knows when that could happen, especially given that not all the players have sat down at the table yet, with more states still gradually deciding to launch their own version of this lucrative market, an ongoing process that we will continue to keep you updated on as it unfolds.

Follow other states for updates on betting legislation

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Mike Lukas

1204 Articles

Mike Lukas is a retired standup comedian turned freelance writer now living in Dallas, Texas, originally from Cleveland, Ohio. His love for the game of football and all things Cleveland Browns turned Mike into a pro blogger years ago. Now Mike enjoys writing about all thirty-two NFL teams, hoping to help football gamblers gain a slight edge in their pursuit of the perfect wager.

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