american-football-As the latest edition of the Super Bowl kicks off this Sunday in Atlanta, Georgia, the American Gaming Association (AGA) has predicted that the event will attract some $6 billion in bets, but illegal wagers will make up the majority of this amount.  

Since the US Supreme Court ruling to repeal the federal ban on sports betting last May, a total of seven American states will be able to place legal wagers on this year’s Super Bowl. The states are Delaware, New Jersey, Rhode Island, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Mississippi, and New Mexico.

Official Survey Findings

According to AGA CEO, Bill Miller in an official statement: “the interest in legal, regulated sports betting in the United States has never been higher. More Americans than ever before  will be able to place their bets with legal sportsbooks now operating in eight states, generating valuable revenue for state, local, and tribal governments, and increasing fan engagement with the game.”

Despite the ruling however, some 22.7 million Americans are still expected to wager money through illegal means, which would account for a whopping 95% of the action.

“These results, however, also point to the continued viability of the dangerous, illegal sports betting market in America. It is more important than ever for jurisdictions to enact sound policies that provide a safe, legal alternative with protections for the nearly 23 million Americans who will place a bet,” Miller went on to say.

Additionally, only 3 out of the eight states where sports betting has been legalised allow mobile wagering – Nevada, New Jersey and West Virginia.

According to the  AGA poll, conducted by Morning Consult, one in 10 American adults are expected to bet on Super Bowl 53 between the New England Patriots and Los Angeles Rams, with 52% getting behind the underdog Rams and the other 48% pushing the favoured Patriots to win.

The Las Vegas spread remains stable at 2.5 points while better odds for the Rams (3 points) can be found at certain online sportsbooks.

The Legal Aspect

american-footballMorning Consult believes that millions of citizens will bet illegally either through a bookie or through an offshore internet sportsbook. 

In a statement to USA TODAY, Miller claimed that he believes that most Americans would prefer to place wagers through legal and regulated channels.

“I am not sure when the tipping point will be. As the general public becomes more aware of the opportunity to do it in a regulated and safe manner, it will move that way.”

Meanwhile, the founder of the Vegas Stats & Information Network (VSiN), Brian Musburger, is of  a different view. Son of renowned TV sports anchor Brent Musburger expressed his views that excessive tax rates in certain states (a whopping 36% in Pennsylvania) would only lead to people turning towards offshore, illicit channels, saying that “if the states over-tax, it will be hard to kill the offshore business.”

 

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