The benefit of hindsight is a marvellous thing. And nowhere else has this in recent times proved more true than looking back on sports betting’s US journey toward legalisation – and of course, beyond. Those not familiar with the industry may feel slightly perplexed about why it is that a legalised sports betting industry matters and even what the benefits could possibly be.
Another benefit of looking back on how far the US has come is that it provides to the industry a valuable vantage point from which to secure a better and more secure industry from an integrity point of view, as well as how to create an industry more beneficial to local communities.
Legal Is Generally Safer
Legalisation as a means to creating an industry mindful of the safety of its customers has long been acknowledged in all manner of trades and sectors. And it would certainly require the purposefully blind to completely ignore the criminal element historically associated with betting on sports. But interesting to note – and this applies to everything from gambling to the sale of alcohol and marijuana – is the relationship between illegal industries and flourishing organised crime.
Not only are bettors today more physically protected from a purely ‘safety’ point of view, but they’re also safeguarded from a digital perspective. Betting before legalisation often involved meeting rogue bookies in dodgy down-town locations or even dishing out sensitive credit card and other information telephonically.
Any industry can only protect its customers or ‘users’ as far as local laws allow. And now that sports betting has been formally legalised in more than a third of US states, bettors can finally rely on industry protection too.
Legal Creates National Wealth
National wealth as in tax revenue. Whereas black-market bets were necessarily conducted ‘off the books’, a legalised sports industry is a government taxable industry. Sports betting is today a money train the likes of which the US hasn’t seen since the birth of the country’s rail system. This means that more tax is currently headed in the direction of federal coffers than in many years. Revenue derived from taxable sports betting spend is put to great use and applied to everything from feeding America’s hungry to assisting problem gamblers.
Legal Creates Jobs
It’s a fact: thriving industries create jobs. And sports betting is no exception. Legalised sports betting has literally created thousands of jobs all across the US. The sports betting industry is expected to create as many as 200,000 jobs by the end of next year.
Its hard to even fathom a reality hostile toward a legalised sports betting industry. Short-sightedness has caused a massive delay in progress that could a great deal sooner have been achieved. A multitude of states are today reaping the benefits of what especially New Jersey fought for for such a long time. The legalisation of sports betting in the US has got to be one of the greatest success stories of our time.