Betting on Sports

October 28, 2016 • Volume 26, Issue 38
Should it be legal nationwide?
By Barbara Mantel


The point spread for bets on Super Bowl 50 (Getty Images/Ethan Miller)
The point spread for bets on Super Bowl 50 between the Carolina Panthers and the Denver Broncos is displayed at the Race & Sports SuperBook at the Westgate Las Vegas Resort & Casino in Las Vegas on Feb. 2, 2016. Nevada is the only state allowed under federal law to offer a full menu of sports betting options, but some states want to expand sports betting. (Getty Images/Ethan Miller)

Americans spend billions of dollars a year betting on sports, the vast majority of it illegally through offshore websites, local bookies and office pools. Some states are considering legalizing sports gambling in order to regulate and tax it. But an appellate court in August blocked a 2014 New Jersey law to legalize sports betting, saying it violated a 1992 federal ban on such gambling in states where it was not already legal. New Jersey's experience is at the heart of a growing debate over whether other states should be allowed to legalize sports betting. Proponents say doing so would produce additional tax revenues, discourage organized crime, protect gamblers from fraud and decrease match-fixing. But opponents challenge each of those arguments and also say legalized sports betting could increase gambling addiction. Meanwhile, professional sports leagues are investing in daily fantasy sports, which some states have legalized as games of skill and others have defined as an illegal form of betting.

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
Gambling and Lotteries
Oct. 28, 2016  Betting on Sports
Jun. 15, 2012  Gambling in America
Mar. 07, 2003  Gambling in America
Sep. 06, 1996  Gambling Under Attack
Mar. 18, 1994  Gambling Boom
Nov. 09, 1990  Lucrative Lure of Lotteries and Gambling
Feb. 27, 1987  State Lotteries
Sep. 28, 1979  Gambling's New Respectability
Mar. 08, 1972  Gambling in America
May 25, 1960  Betting: Legal and Illegal
Dec. 14, 1951  Gambling Controls
May 21, 1942  Government Lotteries
May 04, 1934  Lotteries for Public Revenue
Consumer Behavior
Crime and Law Enforcement
Regulation and Deregulation
State and Local Taxes