Hope for more North Carolina sports betting this year
For the first time ever, the Super Bowl is being held in a state where sports betting is legal — and at a stadium with its own sportsbook, Axios’ Jeff Tracy and Kendall Baker write.
Why it matters: The milestone game at State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Arizona, represents America's — and the NFL's — vastly evolved stance on gambling.
Driving the news: The big game also comes as North Carolina lawmakers are considering legalizing mobile sports betting. It's expected to be one of the first major bills the House advances this session.
State(s) of play: North Carolina and Arizona are two of 33 states (plus Washington, D.C.) with a live, legal sports betting market.
- In North Carolina, however, it's only legal in tribal-owned casinos
Context: Lawmakers here sought to legalize mobile sports betting last year, but the legislation failed by one vote.
- If they succeed, North Carolina would be one of 26 states to do so.
The intrigue: More than 50 million U.S. adults are expected to wager $16 billion on Super Bowl LVII, per the American Gaming Association.
- Both figures are roughly double last year's record tally.
The big picture: The NFL has come a long way from being the league that once banned players from appearing at an offseason fantasy football event in Las Vegas.
- Its reservations were rooted in a fear of match-fixing, but eventually the NFL embraced betting as much as any league.
- In 2021 alone, the NFL inked deals with Caesars Entertainment, DraftKings and FanDuel to be its official sports betting partners, as well as additional agreements with BetMGM, FOX Bet, PointsBet and WynnBet.
The league should be thrilled by the sea change: 34% of fans say the expansion of legal sports betting has made games more exciting.
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