Americans spend $125 billion in gambling following official legalization in 2018

May 17, 2022

Americans have spent more than $125 billion on sports betting since the activity was legalized in 50 U.S. states in 2018.

According to a report by the American Gaming Association, the gambling industry’s national trade group, the sportsbooks' revenue has reached the figure of $8.8 billion in the first four years since sports betting acquired its legal status in the United States.

The four-year 'commemoration' day of when sports betting is permitted by the states was on Saturday, May 14, 2022. The moment also comes in evidence of how robust the sports betting industry in the U.S. has grown ever since.

Whether by coming across numerous advertisement circulated in various media, or even getting involved in sports betting themselves, many Americans is said to have been affected significantly by the growing industry.

A robust growth, public bombarded by betting advertisements

AGA added that the U.S. sports betting industry has generated $1.3 billion in state and local taxes since 2018. To date, the industry remains favored by state lawmakers as a source of new tax revenue in difficult financial situations.

In addition, the robust growth also comes with a wide exposure of sports betting ads in various media which have been bombarding the public's life.

The executive director of The Council on Compulsive Gambling of New Jersey, Felicia Grondin, cited Barron’s report revealing $292 million spent on sports betting ads in 2020. The expense had then grown to $725 million the following year.

About the high intensity of sports betting ads, president and CEO of the American Gaming Association, Bill Miller, has said in December of the phenomenon, calling it "an unsustainable arms race".

Furthermore, New Jersey Assemblyman Ralph Caputo, who was formerly a casino marketing executive, also labeled the industry's over-marketing as "obscene".

However, speaking to his business defense, DraftKings president and co-founder, Matt Kalish, claimed the current level of advertisement is necessary for "the onboarding of customers". "I don’t think that’s necessarily a forever state," he said, quoted from The Associated Press.

Moreover, the general manager of FanDuel’s online sportsbook Karol Corcoran expressed the company's content on the advertising levels, saying that "the industry is still in growth mode."

“We feel fortunate to have access to about 38% of the American population,” he said. “But there are still millions of people that don’t yet have legal sports betting. We’d love to be able to operate where they are.”

How sports betting legalized in U.S.

Sports betting was legalized in the U.S. on May 14, 2018, after the Supreme Court granted a bid to overturn the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act which restricted sports betting to just four states.

The bid to legalize sports betting, which was initiated by New Jersey lawmakers in 2010, had the aim to protect customers from unlicensed bookmakers and other organized crime.

Ray Lesniak, the retired state senator who was the central figure of the movement, admitted the move came to protect consumers and to draw major European betting companies to expand to the U.S.

Speaking on the successful campaign, Lesniak said that he “made a good bet for New Jersey and for America.”

Gus Anderson
Gus Anderson is a gambling wizard. As a kid he dreamt about becoming a Tennis, Hockey and Golf professional but ended up as a gambling professional with focus on both sports & casino.