Two years ago, in a landmark decision, the US Supreme Court ruled the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992 as unconstitutional. The law had prevented regulated sports betting, primarily in Nevada, for more than two decades.
Once the floodgates opened, the US sports betting industry grew at an extraordinary rate. With regulated markets in 18 states, major players in the fantasy sports industry like DraftKings and FanDuel have made their forays into actual bookmaking.
However, with the current sports betting industry boom in the USA, it is now more important than ever to tackle the problem of addiction.
States are allowing the sports betting industry to flourish but are not allocating funds to deal with addiction problems
In a recent finding by the National Council on Problem Gambling (NCPG), it was stated that nine states had authorized sports betting but had not allocated any additional funds towards dealing with gambling problems.
According to the NCPG, an increase in gambling activities will naturally lead to an increase in addiction problems and states should be ready to face the real challenges and bear the responsibility of allowing regulated sports betting.
The difference between regulated and unregulated markets
Laws on gambling vary worldwide. In some countries, any form of gambling is banned outright while in others, there might be a regulated or unregulated gambling market.
A regulated market is one that has to follow rules and laws set by the government whereas an unregulated market is one where there are no clearly established laws regarding gambling.
As the USA moves towards being a more regulated market, issues like addiction need to be taken seriously and handled well. At the end of the day, the advantage of having a regulated market is that it protects all the stakeholders, including the players.
In unregulated markets, most online sportsbooks and casinos offer huge welcome bonuses. For example, in an unregulated market like India, the online gambling service that provides the best welcome bonuses are often ranked higher.
On the other hand, these markets do not offer the player any additional protection. Instead, the casinos and sportsbook operate from the authority of licenses granted in places like Malta and take advantage of legal loopholes that allow them to operate in unregulated markets legally.
The future of sports betting is looking bright in the USA
Regardless of the potential challenges that lie ahead, the sports betting industry in the USA is just starting to take off and it would be interesting to see how it deals with juggling exponential growth and an ever-increasing social responsibility.