Online sports betting is legal—and popular—in many countries around the world, including the United Kingdom, Europe, Australia, and South Africa. Punters who live in these countries can bet on many different kinds of sports. For example, they can choose from horse racing, football, cricket, rugby, and more.
American sports like basketball are also popular in many of these countries. However, in the US, online sports betting has just started to take off. And this has only been true since the federal ban on sports betting was lifted in 2018.
Since then, many states have jumped on the bandwagon. These states now allow online sports betting in-state, with many other states waiting on legislation to pass. In this article, we explore this industry, its growth, its current technology, and how it is adapting to changing circumstances.
Growth in the Online Sports Betting Industry
The global online gambling industry, according to recent figures, has a value of $46 billion, a staggering amount. Considering the number of states waiting to legalize this activity in the near future, this number could rise even higher. In fact, some have even predicted that legalization in the US could lead to a doubling of this figure by 2024.
This is an exponential amount of growth. Moreover, it speaks to the fact that watching and betting on sports is a popular pastime.
Why might states want to legalize online sports betting? Some of the reasons include the fact that state governments can charge tax on this revenue. This would create a new stream of income. States could then use this money to provide more employment opportunities and invest in public projects.
Technology in the Online Sports Betting Industry
With the growth of the online sports betting industry, it’s clear that mobile technology plays a massive role in its expansion. Further, the advent of esports, while illegal to bet on in many states, has shown the potential of virtual games to draw in massive crowds and wagers in some parts of the world.
As we’ll discuss later in this article, virtual reality technology also provides opportunities to expand on these offerings. This is because virtual reality creates a lifelike virtual world. In this world, sports can be played through the technology of artificial intelligence (AI) and the use of historic statistics.
For now though, in states like Indiana, which recently legalized online sports betting, people can bet on their favorite sports online, and even on their local college teams. However, in many states this is not the case. This is because each state has its own rules and limitations when it comes to online sports betting.
States in Line to Pass Their Bills
To get an overview of where all of the states stand in the race toward legalization, online sports betting is legal in New York, Iowa, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Nevada, Indiana, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Rhode Island, and West Virginia.
States that have legislation in place to approve online sports betting, and are waiting for it to be finalized, include Oklahoma, Washington State, Virginia, Vermont, Texas, Tennessee, Montana, Missouri, Massachusetts, Maryland, Maine, Louisiana, Kentucky, Illinois, Hawaii, and Connecticut.
Although it is unclear when many of these states will legalize sports betting online, the number of states that have passed pending legislation shows that this could be a booming industry nationwide in the near future. This will further invigorate the already popular sports industry in the US.
How the Industry Is Improvising During the COVID-19 Outbreak
The COVID-19 outbreak presents many challenges to the sports betting industry, as many major sporting events have been canceled or postponed. However, this provides an opportunity now for the creation of virtual sporting events and tournaments for punters to bet on. This is especially timely, since many people are in self-isolation at home. Therefore, they are spending more time on their mobile devices.
One of these innovations is in the world of tennis. Here, one of the main international tours, the ATP, is partnering with IMG Arena to create a licensed virtual tennis product. Since tennis is a very data-focused game, it is an ideal sport with which to use AI to create a thrilling virtual number-crunching experience. Such an event will provide entertainment for fans around the world.
Final Thoughts on the Booming Industry of Online Sports Betting
With more and more states passing legislation and clearly seeing the financial benefit of legalizing online sports betting, it’s clear that there is a lot of potential for this industry, even with the current challenges it faces with the COVID-19 outbreak.
In the article here, we’ve taken a look at the global online gaming industry and its projected value, as well as how the industry is using mobile technology to reach more punters, especially in the US.
We also summarized the states where online sports betting is legal and which states are waiting for legislation to pass. Finally, we concluded with an exciting prospect for virtual tennis tournaments. These are sure to provide all number-crunching sports fans with the ideal opportunity to wager their bets on a licensed online international competition.