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Sports Betting’s Meteoric Rise to the Top

Amir Hamja
Caesars Sportsbook located in New Orleans, as Louisiana legalized retail sports betting in October 2021 and mobile betting in January 2022

A once outlawed act in an overwhelming majority of the states, sports betting is arguably at the forefront of the sports entertainment industry.

Stemming from the 2018 judicial decision to overturn the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992, the sports betting industry has seen astounding growth in popularity. What was once a mere hobby for some has transformed into a multibillion-dollar industry.

A leading force in the industry’s growth is the narrative shift on gambling. With time, society has evolved to view the act with less negative undertones, thrusting it into mainstream culture. Sports franchises that once opposed the nullification of the PASPA, in an attempt to protect the integrity of their game, now feature advertisements for sports betting platforms around their stadiums and during their television broadcasts. 

Like it’s done to so many other industries, the use of technology has further advanced sports betting. Gamblers simply use an app on their smartphone to bet on a multitude of games. This ease of access doesn’t only appeal to traditional betters, but to those who are intrigued by the space. Technology’s ability to connect plays a large role in the experience, as it’s often to see communities form on online forums about the topic.

Brian Jimenez, a sports fan from Ohio, typically finds himself in these forums communicating with fellow betters on all things about gambling, and even creating friendships.

“I initially got in just looking to earn a little cash on the side, but it’s definitely turned into a full-time hobby.” – Brian Jimenez, avid better

While PASPA was indeed negated on the federal level, not every state elected to follow suit. However, a loophole of sorts in the form of daily fantasy sports allows players to enjoy many of the same opportunities as traditional sports betting. The former is deemed legal because it is said to rely less on chance and more on strategy.

Entry from popular daily fantasy sports platform, PrizePicks (Ozong Agborsangaya )

Jarrace Sims routinely plays daily fantasy sports because Georgia currently doesn’t allow traditional sports betting. Sims notes that his platform of choice is PrizePicks and from what he’s seen it’s basically the same thing.

While many betting platforms display resources for those who struggle with addiction, the rise of the industry doesn’t come without pause from naysayers. Skeptics say the rise of gambling addiction cases is in direct correlation to the uptick in popularity of the pastime, mainly regarding younger adults who are financially illiterate.

As the industry continues to progress, the challenge of balancing economic gain and ethical values will only grow more prominent.

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