Will the United States Look to the British Blueprint for Sports Betting?

by: The Knowledge Group

June 12, 2018


Gambling on sports has clearance from the U.S. Supreme Court. For the states and the betting companies, the court’s decision means a multibillion-dollar jackpot. The diverse sports industry in the United States includes multiple major leagues, college games, and more. So how will legal betting play out?

In Britain, people now spend nearly $20 billion annually on betting. Any aspect of a British sporting event can be subject to a wager. You’ll find gambling booths in stadiums and an increasing number of websites devoted to sports bets. Betting advertisements abound on British television; bookmaking companies are a fixture on the high street. Betting, and betting on sports, is all part of the culture.

Profit and Compulsion

That said, the increasing simplicity of online betting is connected with a rise in compulsive gambling in Britain, prompting government action.

The betting shops’ machines generate about $2.5 billion a year. Of course, they do so at the expense of gamblers. The British government wants the machines’ intake rate dramatically slowed. Of course, the betting industry resists such change.

And while most British football teams have relationships with betting companies, these lucrative links have drawn intense criticism for promoting betting through their advertising deals. One of these business alliances recently ended dramatically. Its termination followed a scandal involving individual breaches of the Football Association’s restrictions on gambling by players.

News on U.S. Sports Betting So Far

British sports betting company William Hill PLC has a U.S. subsidiary, and is working out a plan with New Jersey authorities to fire up its machinery at Monmouth Park racetrack. New York, Connecticut, Mississippi, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia all have gambling laws that would facilitate their entry into the lucrative new arena.

Sports associations now want to collect 1% “integrity fees” on bets to offset the costs of compliance with state gambling regulations.

Meanwhile, gamblers want to be sure they know who is playing in a given game. Will state gambling authorities now make college coaches disclose accurate information on their players’ injuries? The plot thickens.

You can learn more about the latest betting and gaming regulations, and earn Continuing Legal Education (CLE) credit, on our June 20th webcast.  Full details on the webcast as well as registration information can be found by clicking here.  We hope to see you there.