NFL Football season is one of the most highly anticipated times of the year. From September until the Super Bowl Championship on February 5th, football fans watch their favorite teams, and many of their rivals on Thursday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday religiously. Games are as exciting as they come and the sport has one of the biggest wagering cultures of any other sport in the world, despite strict laws in the US.
The Professional and Amateur Sports Act (PASPA) was passed in 1992 by US Congress and has denied sports betting in all states aside from Nevada. They estimate that there will be $90 billion bet on the NFL this year, but only $2 billion will be through legal platforms, both online or at a traditional land-based bookmaker.
The law is not a popular one, as sports betting is wildly popular today, with no signs of slowing its growth. PASPA's attempts to prohibit sportsbetting have not worked and instead, state government is losing out on billions of dollars in tax profits that could be used for education, charitable initiatives and so much more. Once again the US government is creating criminals in its midst by using prohibition to try and limit gambling, and we all know how that worked out with Alcohol so many years ago.
All in Favor of Legal Sports Gambling
American Gaming Association claims that in 2015 Americans placed $149 billion in illegal sports wagers and none of that money can be accounted for, as the bets were all made through underground channels. The popularity of sports betting is now around 65% of football fans in favor of legalization and regulation. Even the leagues have loosened up to sportsbetting with the NFL Commissioner, Roger Goodell recently stating that "All of us have evolved a little on gambling." He is not alone as Adam Silver, NBA Commissioner said in a 2015 New York Times interview that the laws of sports gambling need to be changed. All are in favor of regulation and technological safeguards including both MLB and NHL commissioners respectively.
The breakthrough in legal sports gambling is just over the horizon and it is only a matter of time until legal and regulated sports gambling will be accessible to Americans, as it has been for punters all over the world for many years.