Sep 9, 2023 - Sports

Charted: Sports betting explodes

Correction: The chart has been updated to show Louisiana's correct state tax amount. Data: American Gaming Association, Sports Handle; Chart: Simran Parwani/Axios

73.5 million Americans said they planned to bet on the NFL this season, according to a survey released Wednesday from the American Gaming Association — a new record, and a nearly 60% increase from last year.

By the numbers: An Axios analysis of Sports Handle data shows that states have generated over $3.5 billion in tax revenue in the past five years from legalized sports betting.

Yes but: The expansion of sports betting since the Supreme Court overturned the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act in 2018 has also increased the risk of problem gambling.

  • The National Council for Problem Gambling estimates that the risk of gambling addiction increased by 30% between 2018 and 2021.
  • No federal funds are designated for problem gambling services and research, and many states do not explicitly allocate a share of tax revenue for problem gambling treatment or research.

The bottom line: Rachel Volberg, a researcher at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, told GBH, “We are in the midst of one of the most explosive expansions of legalized gambling that the United States has seen in many, many years.”

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