Data: Legal Sports Report; Chart: Naema Ahmed/Axios

Two years ago today, the Supreme Court struck down the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA), which had prevented states from creating their own sports betting regulations.

Where things stand: 24 months later, 18 states and counting have legalized it, launching an explosive new industry that touches sports, media, technology and more (though the pandemic has slowed growth in what was set to be a big year).

  • It all started in New Jersey, which has since nearly caught up to Nevada in terms of revenue generated (see above). And thanks to a favorable tax rate, New Jersey ($62.6 million) has earned significantly more than both Pennsylvania ($43.6 million) and Nevada ($39.3 million) in taxes.
  • If there's one early trend whose veracity we can be confident about, it's that mobile betting is the future of the industry. Do you really think New Jersey (population 8.8 million) would out-earn New York (population 19.5 million) if the latter let people bet on their phones?

What they're saying: Most states allow casinos to operate freely, taxing them as they would any business. But a handful run their casinos at the state level under a revenue-sharing model, which Dustin Gouker of Legal Sports Report tells me is a shortsighted strategy:

"The states with more open markets (N.J., Pennsylvania, Indiana) have outperformed those without them (Oregon, Rhode Island). It's too early to make calls beyond a shadow of a doubt, but both Oregon and Rhode Island would clearly be doing better if they took less money with an open system."

Looking ahead: Former American Gaming Association executive Sara Slane, who now advises companies in the space, lays out five key trends to watch moving forward.

  • The line between sports and casinos will blur as the two industries fight to capture discretionary dollars. Think: The sportsbook inside Washington, D.C.'s Capital One Arena.
  • Mobile and retail operators presenting a unified front. "Expect to see a shared wallet for online gaming tied back to retail, more cashless payment acceptance on the casino floor, and rewards and comps for online play."
  • Optimizing the "watch and bet" experience. Live lines must be set quickly and internet connections can't lag.
  • Tech companies will enjoy rapid growth. Even (especially?) during a pandemic, "online sports betting presents an opportunity for innovation in a traditionally anemic industry."
  • Gaming regulations will evolve with the times. "Sports betting will move the regulatory process forward to meet consumer demands."

The bottom line: So much has changed in just two years, but in reality, it's only just begun.

Go deeper: Coronavirus sends sports betting scrambling

Go deeper

Kendall Baker, author of Sports
Oct 14, 2020 - Sports

Sports stadiums welcome voters, not fans

Map: Axios Visuals

The NBA just completed a historic season that required the league to shutter its arenas. Now, it will help execute a historic election by re-opening them to voters.

Why it matters: The momentum created by the NBA has extended to other leagues, culminating in the largest political effort the sports world has ever seen.

Updated 31 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Politics: Obama: Trump is "jealous of COVID's media coverage" Axios-Ipsos poll: Federal response has only gotten worse.
  2. Health: Hospitals face a crush — 13 states set single-day case records last week.
  3. Business: Winter threat spurs new surge of startup activity.
  4. Media: Pandemic causes TV providers to lose the most subscribers ever.
  5. States: Nearly two dozen Minnesota cases traced to three Trump campaign events.
  6. World: Putin mandates face masks.

Louisiana braces for 3rd hurricane in 2 months as Tropical Storm Zeta nears

Municipality workers clean the streets of garbage in Playa del Carmen, Mexico, on Tuesday that was left by Zeta, which struck the Yucatan Peninsula as a Category 1 Hurricane a day earlier — causing no major damage to infrastructure. Photo: Medios y Media/Getty Images

Tropical Storm Zeta is expected to strengthen back into a hurricane and bring dangerous storm surge conditions to parts of the northern Gulf Coast on Wednesday, per the National Hurricane Center.

The state of play: Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards (D) requested a pre-landfall Federal Declaration of Emergency in a letter to President Trump on Tuesday, ahead of the storm's expected arrival south of New Orleans.