How Common Is Betting on Sports Across the US in Recent Years?

In 2018, the Supreme Court in the U.S. legalized sports betting. Each state could decide whether to legalize sports betting. Since then it has taken off. As of January 2023, 30 states had operational legalized sports betting. A number of other states are actively working towards legalizing it. 

Many forms of sports betting

According to PEW Research, about 19% of U.S. adults say they have placed sports bets in some way over the past 12 months. This statistic shows the growing interest in sports betting. The survey of over 6,000 adults found thatmost of them bet money on sports with family and friends. This was either in a private betting pool, a fantasy league, or as a casual bet. Others bet money on sports in person at a racetrack, casino, or at betting kiosks. 

Gambling online using sports betting apps is another popular way to place bets. The rise of online sportsbooks has made it more convenient for people to wager. They can bet on sports at any time and from anywhere, even when on the go. 

Who bets on sports?

The Pew Research survey also found that men are more likely to bet on sports than women. Adults under the age of 50 are also more likely to bet on sports than those over 50 years of age. Other surveys have found that young men with college degrees and higher incomes are more likely to bet on sports than others. 

Avid sports fans are more likely to bet on sports than others. Black and Hispanic adults are more likely to bet on sports than Whites and Asians. People from both political parties seem to bet on sports in roughly equal measures. 

Technical advances in sports betting

Various technological advances, such as the ability to place sports bets online, are increasing the accessibility and convenience of sports betting. People are even playing with live dealers thanks to live streaming. More and more people are using mobile apps to place sports bets online. Technology is reducing the barrier to entry and spurring competition in the sports betting industry. 

Perceptions about sports betting

The majority of adults in the U.S. report that they are aware that sports betting is legal. Public views about gambling are changing and people see sports betting as entertainment rather than a vice. Over 50% of adults say that the legalization of sports betting is neither a good nor a bad thing for society. There is concern among some that the increasing availability of sports betting will lead to more people becoming addicted to gambling.  

Tax revenue from sports betting

With the US setting gambling records and more money being generated by sportsbooks, states with legalized sports betting benefit from the tax revenue it generates. The states use the tax revenue for their general funds, schooling, statewide projects, and social services. Big states like Pennsylvania and New Jersey have been able to provide tax relief to citizens, support health service programs, and increase state education funding thanks to casinos and sportsbooks. 

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