Las Vegas Sun

December 17, 2018

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New York expected to overtake Nevada as top U.S. sports betting market

South Point

John Locher / AP

In this Aug. 20, 2015, file photo, Therese Duenas counts money as she takes bets in the sports book at the South Point in Las Vegas.

The Supreme Court's recent overturning of a federal ban on sports betting could clear the path for New York to become the largest U.S. sports wagering market.

By 2023, New York is projected to rake in $700 million annually from sports bets, according to new projections by GamblingCompliance, an independent service that monitors gambling legislation.

2023 annual revenues in New Jersey and Pennsylvania are also projected to surpass those of Nevada, estimated at about $300 million. In 2017, Nevada notched a record $248 million in sports wagers.

Currently, seven states are ready to enter the sports betting market, according to the GamblingCompliance report, with up to 37 states expected to have some form of legal sports wagering in the next five years.

The report says the U.S. legal sports wagering market will be worth $3.1 billion to $5.2 billion in annual revenue by 2023.

“The U.S. sports betting market is set to quickly become one of the largest in the world, surpassing the U.K. and potentially China within five years,” said James Kilsby, managing director of GamblingCompliance's Americas region and one of the report’s authors. “A state-by-state expansion of sports betting is going to be complicated, with various stakeholders including gaming and fantasy-sports operators, major sports leagues, Indian tribes and others likely to lobby for divergent policies as they bid to shape legislation and regulations in their favor.”

GamblingCompliance expects the Northeast U.S. to see the most activity related to sports betting expansion.

California, Florida and Texas potentially could be three of the most lucrative markets for U.S. sports wagering, but local legal and lobbying obstacles are likely to hinder legislative approval or limit the scope of wagering in those states by not allowing online and mobile betting.

The GamblingCompliance report comes on the heels of New Jersey and Delaware becoming the first two states to start accepting sports bets following the May ruling that struck down a 1992 federal law called the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act, or PASPA, which prohibited such gambling.

Mississippi, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, West Virginia and potentially New York are set to follow suit before the end of the year.

“We expect sports betting bills to come thick and fast when state legislatures reconvene for their 2019 legislative sessions,” Kilsby said.