Has Legal Sports Betting Expansion in the U.S. Made Football Even More Popular?
While gambling has been a part of sports for most of written history, governments have tried to take control of sports betting for at least that long. Sometimes hidden in American dark alleys or back rooms, the bookies took wagers on almost every sport’s event held – but the most popular by far was football. Flouting the laws that constituents considered illegal when placing bets, the government would fight in a tug-of-war for hundreds of years in an effort to control gambling, and in many cases, the voters won the battle.
The United States tried to control legal wagering with a law called the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act in 1992. The law would have banned all states from participating in any form of sports wagering without governmental permission. In 2006, the government hit the gambling industry even harder with the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act, which limited wagering actions even further. New Jersey fought the rules and regulations imposed by the government and took the fight all the way to the Supreme Court, which then dashed the PASPA directive as unconstitutional in 2018. Thus began the expansion of the world of legal betting on football.
Television in the 20th century introduced football to millions of viewers that had never been to a game. With instant replays, experienced voices explaining what was occurring on the field, and close-up shots of key players during a significant moment of play, the viewers couldn’t help but fall in love with the seriously exhausting game. While the home spectator no longer had to fight through crowds to get a seat at a game or pay $10 for a hotdog, with the help of the announcers, the game could come to life within each of the viewer’s homes. This excitement generated mood enhancement also led the way for competitive individuals to bet on the games they could now watch in such minute detail.
Technological advances have led to the growth of football wagers in an unexpected way. Rather than betting on a game and its individual player outcomes, spectators are changing the way they bet. As the viewers become more cognitive of how hard footballs are thrown, how far players run in a game, and how many times certain players get thrown to the ground, the derivatives offer opportunities for at-home viewers to raise his or her wagers to another level. You can find wager on football games that include player hairstyles, shoe colors, dances in end zones, and even the number of throws during a game, and the variations of bets on football games continue to grow.
With the voters making their voices known with strong objections to governmental restrictions over legal wagers, the legislators have begun to understand how much resistance there will be to pushing any more online betting limitations. Since the defeat of PASPA in 2018, those same lawmakers have begun to see that gambling taxes can make states a great deal of money. For now, there are 13 states that have allowed legalized sports wagers, either online or in brick and mortar establishments like casinos. There are bills in another six states that are expected to pass in the coming year.
Although the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006 has been debated often in the past decade, online betting on football games is still available to Americans, and it is more popular than at any other time in history. So, no matter what you want to place a wager on, you can probably find it online in one of the many legal casinos. As with anything that is constantly changing, make sure you understand the laws in your state regarding gambling before you place a bet, and then find something fun to wager on – like how many times Tom Brady will complete a pass during the third quarter.