The U.S. sports betting industry is on track to reach record levels in 2023, with experts predicting that the total sports betting handle across the 37 states that allow sports betting could surpass $100 billion by the end of the year. This would be a significant increase from the $93.2 billion figure recorded in 2022.
The expansion of legalized sports betting has been a key factor in this growth, with six states passing legislation or launching sports books this year. In addition, Florida has relaunched sports betting after a two-year ban, following a ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court.
However, the industry is still facing resistance in some of the most populous states, such as California and Texas. In California, the failure of a 2022 gaming legalization ballot has highlighted the importance of gaining the support of Native Indian tribes. According to attorney Baird Fogel, who works with the sports betting industry, the tribes hold significant power and influence in the state, and their support is crucial for any future legalization efforts.
In Texas, the situation is similarly challenging, with efforts to legalize sports betting facing opposition from key political figures, including Republican Gov. Greg Abbott and Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick. Despite the efforts of casino mogul Miriam Adelson, who has made significant donations to support legalization, the sports betting bill has yet to pass the Senate.
Looking ahead, states like Georgia and Missouri are expected to consider sports betting legislation in 2024. Fogel emphasized the importance of regulating and taxing sports betting, pointing out that the activity is already occurring in these states in an unregulated manner.
Despite the challenges, the sports betting industry continues to grow and evolve, with potential for significant expansion in the coming years. As more states consider legalization, the industry is poised for further growth and development in the near future.