New research undertaken by the American Gaming Association (AGA) offers a state of the nation view of sports betting with some notable new findings. Firstly, there is robust support among Americans for the legalization of sports betting. Secondly, there is very little appetite for the major sports leagues to get a cut of the revenue from sports wagering.

According to the study, an overwhelming majority of Americans – 63 per cent – support the US Supreme Court decision to strike down the federal ban on sports betting, while a record 8-in-10 Americans support legalizing sports betting in their states.

In the months since the Supreme Court deemed the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) unconstitutional, 10 states and the District of Columbia have authorized sports betting. Fifteen states have active or pre-filed bills to legalize sports betting in their jurisdictions and an additional dozen states are likely to consider sports betting legislation in 2019.

Two thirds of those surveyed (66 per cent) agree that regulation and oversight of gaming should be left to those jurisdictions. Additional findings include little public support for professional sports leagues taking a share of sports betting revenue by getting a cut of the amount wagered on sports. Only 23 per cent of Americans believe that the leagues should collect a fee from the amount wagered on sports, while 55 per cent oppose.  

“The results of this research are overwhelmingly clear: consumers want legal sports betting, they believe it should be regulated by state and tribal governments and they don’t think the leagues should get a cut,” said Sara Slane, Senior Vice President of the AGA. “This weekend, 23 million Americans will wager a staggering $6bn on the Super Bowl. To put that in perspective, Americans will bet around the same amount on this one event as they bet legally in all of 2018.

“However, Americans will continue to bet illegally without access to safe, regulated alternatives. With sports betting legislation flooding state capitals across the country, legislators can pursue these opportunities knowing they have the support of their constituents. AGA will continue to advocate for the inclusion of sensible gaming policies wherever it is being considered, including consumer protections and reasonable tax rates that enable the legal, regulated market to compete with illegal bookies and offshore operators.”