A certain global pandemic may have irreversibly defined sport in 2020, but it has also been a period in which sports betting was firmly established as a powerhouse player in the US.
Certainly, the only thing many in the sports industry were able to celebrate last year was the end of it. But as the sector lurched uncertainly into 2021, the close of a tumultuous 12 months only proved just how abundant, burgeoning and influential betting has become in the world’s biggest sports market.
In October 2020, Americans legally bet an estimated US$3 billion on sports for the first time in a single month, according to the American Gaming Association. Sports betting revenue was up nationwide by 53.5 per cent year-over-year to US$237.5 million. In December alone, New Jersey set the national sports betting record for the fi ft h consecutive month, taking an eye-watering US$996.3 million in bets.
Naturally, the decimation of the global sporting calendar meant revenue for the broader gaming industry was down year-over-year, falling 33.5 per cent to US$24.12 billion by October. But it is a measure of betting’s proliferation that six states – Colorado, Iowa, New Jersey, Ohio, Pennsylvania and South Dakota – generated more income from wagering for that month compared to a year ago.
Of course, this abundance of betting all stems from the downfall of the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA), the law which