Nearly $10b Will Be Wagered Illegally On March Madness
With the Supreme Court decision in New Jersey pending the issue of illegal sports betting continues to stir debate. It is estimated that over $10 billion will be wagered on March Madness with most of it being illegal and not be taxed in any way.
Currently sports betting is only legal in four states: Delaware, Montana, Nevada and Oregon. The opportunity for states to enjoy revenues form sports betting is huge and has already got many individual states looking into legislation.
These figures were released by the American Gaming Association who also estimates that around a quarter of the U.S adult population (54 million) participated in some form of sports betting last year. A lot of this activity is sports betting pools within the office environment which technically is illegal in two thirds of U.S States.
CEO of American Gaming Association Geoff Freeman voiced what many believe should be the rationale behind legalizing sports betting on a federal level. He said,” Our current sports betting laws are so out of touch with reality that we’re turning tens of millions of Americans into criminals for the simple act of enjoying college basketball. The failed federal ban on sports betting has created an illegal, unregulated sports betting market that offers zero consumer protections and generates zero revenue for state and tribal governments.”
Opponents to the legalization of sports betting like the Council on Compulsive Gambling of New Jersey believe that sports betting will affect the integrity of the games and may put many people at risk for problem gambling.