Betting in the US has a history that is a lot more complex in many ways than other countries. It is only fairly recently that widespread betting has become legal, and since that time, the market has exploded in popularity. Globally, betting markets are huge, as you might expect, so we might expect that the US has a long way to go in becoming the largest betting market in the world.
However, a lot of factors are pointing to the fact that yes, the US will become the world’s largest betting market in coming years. Let’s look at a few reasons why.
- Sports betting
Currently, sports betting is illegal in many US states. In many of the places where it is legal, it is still only legal in-person—there is no online betting. This regulation began to end in 2013, with states like Delaware, Nevada and New Jersey.
In 2021, the market for legal sports betting exploded as various states began to relax regulations and companies like Cloudbet took advantage of this. Americans spent around $52.7 billion on betting that year, a huge increase on previous years.
Sports popularity in the country played no small part in this success—around 35 million people regularly tune into the biggest sports games.
In New York, for example, sports betting was launched in January of 2021, and took more than $600 million in its first two weeks.
Sports betting clearly has enormous potential in the country.
- Nevada casino sector
Though online betting is likely to drive the US market up to the highest in the world, the value of the Nevada casino sector is still going to be really important to that growth. One of the most famous casino districts in the world, in Las Vegas, is one of the only places in the country where casinos are not heavily regulated.
In 2019, the Vegas casinos reported a total of around $17.5 billion, bringing in bettors from all over the world. That number has gone up in the past couple of years, to around $53 billion in 2021. That kind of growth is really enormous.
Clearly, the physical, land-based casino sector still has a huge part to play in the US betting market. Las Vegas is undoubtedly the most famous casino sector in the world.
- Online casinos
The other component of the rising popularity of betting, and the increased size of the market, in the US, is of course online casinos. Slowly and steadily states have begun legalizing more and more online casino games, like online poker, blackjack and others. The biggest states for online casino markets are expected to be New York, New Jersey, Nevada and Pennsylvania by 2024.
With the sheer number of people in the U.S.—around 329 million—the online casino market will almost certainly explode in popularity. That popularity, again, has a huge market to grow into, with that many potential bettors in the nation.
The rapid expansion of legal online casinos to states like Arkansas, Arizona, Colorado and others is continuing and many states are in the process of reviewing their regulations. Undoubtedly, the popularity of online casinos will drive the expansion of the US betting market.
One way or another, then, the US betting market is set to grow exponentially in the next few years. As laws are changed and updated to reflect shifting values, and betting of many kinds becomes legal in more and more places, more and more Americans will be able to place bets legitimately. With such an enormous population size, that market has a huge amount of space to grow into, too.