Most Sports Betting is Online, As More States Plan to Go Mobile
More than 80 percent of legal sports betting in the US is done online. That could go higher, as a half dozen more states are expected to approve online wagering this year. In 2019, a panel of experts at the East Coast Gaming Congress in Atlantic City predicted 90 percent of legal sports betting in the country would be done online in five to 10 years.
Only two years after that panel discussion, 90 percent is within range. Nationally, 81 percent of bets on live sporting events are done online, the Associated Press reported this month. The number keeps going up. In New Jersey, 92 percent of sports wagering occurred on smartphones or computers last year. New Jersey is the nation’s largest sports-betting market. In the first two months of this year, online betting has accounted for 85 percent of all sports wagering nationally.
Rush Street Interactive CEO Mattias Stetz told the Associated Press that 87 percent of his company’s sports bets are conducted online, even in markets where online and in-person betting are available. “Sports fans are enjoying the option of betting from the comfort of their homes,” he said.
Right now, online gaming is legal in 14 states and Washington, D.C. The states are New Hampshire, Rhode Island, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Tennessee, Michigan, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Wyoming, Nevada, Colorado, and Oregon.
Several more states could authorize online sports betting in 2021, Krafcik said. These are Maine, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Maryland, Ohio, and Louisiana. In New York, mobile sports betting could be up and running next year. Earlier this month, Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey (R) signed legislation authorizing in-person and mobile sports betting in the state.
Nationwide, 21 states and Washington, D.C. have some form of active legal sports betting, either in-person at casino sportsbooks or online — or both. Tennessee is an example of a state that allows online wagering, but does not have casinos. The opposite is true in two of its neighboring states. Arkansas and Mississippi allow waging at casino sportsbooks, but neither state permits online wagering.
The National Conference of State Legislatures last month noted in a report that potential tax revenue is “a big selling point for legalizing sports betting in many states.” While states view that tax revenue as helpful, especially during a pandemic-related downturn, the money is not always a massive windfall.