Online sports betting is a worldwide pastime that millions of people over the age of 21 partake in everyday. Sports have been around for centuries and people love to cheer for their favorite team. Fans not only enjoy cheering for their favorite teams, but placing bets on the games as well. Sports betting is a very controversial issue in the United States, with debates over whether or not it should be legal for Americans to place wagers on games. Currently there are seven states that are able to legally bet online, through a platform known as a sportsbook. Sports betting became legal for these seven states after a U.S. six-three Supreme Court decision which allowed people to bet in these states. I believe that the U.S. should make it a federal law to legalize sports betting because it has a great economic impact and an entertainment value that cannot be denied.
As a New Jersey resident who is over the age of 21, I have been able to participate in online betting. I use a platform called Fanduel, which is a website that allows me to place wagers on different things such as sports games. In Fanduel there is a thing known as a sportsbook, which is where I keep track of what sports games I have bet on. Betting has a certain entertainment value that cannot be denied. It is much more fun to watch a sports game when your money is on the line. It makes you economically invested in the game, which raises the level of excitement. Sometimes your favorite team doesn’t play every night, so putting a couple dollars on another team and making you root for them can amplify your night. People spend lots of money to be entertained, whether it is going to Broadway shows, out to dinner with friends, or to the movies. Sports betting can be cheap entertainment that shouldn’t be denied to the American people.
The economic impact of sports betting is tremendous. With such tough restrictions on betting throughout the U.S., many people illegally bet with cash and wind up never contributing to the economy through taxes. Making sports betting legal online would encourage people to stop these illegal activities and do it through a regulated company like Fanduel or DraftKings. This would then allow the government to collect taxes on the profits that are made on sports betting. In 2019, according to the Legal Sports Report, New Jersey alone spent $4.5 billion on sports betting. Companies who are involved in sports betting like Fanduel and DraftKings, have revenues of $300 million.
On top of this, sports betting is very beneficial to state tax revenue. In 2019, $36 million of tax revenue was generated. This extra tax revenue can help contribute to social programs, public safety, health programs and more. With extra tax revenue, the government will be less likely to increase taxes from other revenue sources once they have a new influx of tax revenue from sports betting. The economic impact and advantage in New Jersey alone should encourage the country as a whole to make sports betting legal.
While there are a few reasons why sports betting hasn’t become legal on a federal level, one of the arguments is that companies will always win in the long run. Some people have an addictive mindset and will gamble all their money away. While it is true that people can lose money, there are risks with any investment that can cause you to lose money too. People have lost millions of dollars from gambling on the stock market, but it is still legal today because of economic reasons. But many, if not all, sports betting websites are legally required to have measures in place where you can suspend your account or put yourself on a cool down to limit and prevent these concerns from happening. This makes it a safer environment for people to bet on sports. Sports betting is a rapidly growing industry and more states each year are legalizing it. The federal government should legalize it for all 50 states because it is good for the economy and provides another source of entertainment for Americans. I hope that as the federal government starts to realize the benefits of this they will pass legislation legalizing sports betting.