In early february Jim McIngvale, a businessman from Houston, crossed Texas’s border with Louisiana to place a $4.53m bet on his phone. In making America’s biggest-ever online bet, Mr McIngvale is pinning his hopes on the victory of the Cincinnati Bengals, the underdogs, in the Super Bowl on February 13th. He is the boldest among tens of millions of Americans who will place bets this weekend. His staggering wager reflects a broader trend: the market for legal betting is surging in America—along with attendant risks.
Since the Supreme Court struck down a law that banned sports gambling outside Nevada in 2018, 33 states as well as Washington, DC have legalised it. Seven more states have legislation in the works. The betting landscape is rapidly changing: 45m more Americans than last year can now legally bet on the 2022 Super Bowl in their home state. Many more, like Mr McIngvale, can travel to a neighbouring state to do so.
In less than four years, $97bn has been wagered in legal bets across America, yielding over $7bn in revenue for gambling operators and $923m in taxes. In October 2021 alone, Americans put down a record $7.5bn, 87% of it online. That was an eight-fold increase on the same month in 2018. Experts anticipate that the sports-betting market will keep growing. By 2028 it is expected to be worth $140bn.
A new post in 'That Was The Week'
Sports betting in America is explodinghttps://t.co/fVYn1SeWj2
— Keith Teare (@kteare) February 10, 2022