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January 18, 2017

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Report: Expanding legal sports betting would generate $11.9B in revenue

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Steve Marcus

Football fans watch games during NFL opening day at the Red Rock Resort’s race and sportsbook Sunday, Sept. 13, 2015.

Extending legalized sports betting beyond Nevada and other states where it is currently lawful would create nearly $12 billion in gross gaming revenue in the U.S., says a new report from a global gaming analyst.

GamblingCompliance Research Services' report says the U.S. would become the world's largest sports-betting market if a federal prohibition on sports wagering were eliminated. Revenue in the U.S. would be $11.9 billion — more than four times the amount of the United Kingdom, home of current leading market. Gross gaming revenue there is $2.8 billion.

Revenue in California alone would be $1.3 billion if legal sports wagering were expanded to tribal casinos, online and noncasino retail outlets, the report said. New York would see $900 million.

Gross gaming revenue is defined as the amount of total wagers minus the amount paid out to customers as winnings.

Today, legalized sports betting generates less than $300 million in gross gaming revenue in the U.S., where only four states are exempt from the federal prohibition — Nevada, Delaware, Montana and Oregon. The vast majority of the revenue comes from Nevada.

GamblingCompliance's report comes a month after an appellate court struck down legislation legalizing sports betting in New Jersey for the third time since 2013. Gov. Chris Christie said the state was considering appealing the ruling to the U.S. Supreme Court.

"U.S. policymakers, casino groups and sports leagues have all begun to consider what a regulated sports-betting market would look like without the PASPA (Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act) prohibition," GamblingCompliance's managing director, James Kilsby, said in a news release. "States are already moving rapidly to regulate daily fantasy sports, but sports betting represents a far larger and more lucrative opportunity."

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