With the recent virus outbreak, many states may lead to approve gambling expansion. It is due to its budget deficit with a loss of revenue generation. And can lead to the legalization of sports betting and online gambling.
Although most sports remain shut down due to the virus, the European soccer and Asian baseball have begun play. Also, NASCAR and PGA Tour golf restart in two weeks. Major U.S. sports leagues, including the NBA and NHL, are making plans for resuming their seasons.
How Will the Virus Lead States to Approve Gambling Expansion?
The virus will accelerate the expansion of sports wagering and online casinos in the next 12 to 24 months. Both activities provide revenue whose economies have massively disrupted by the outbreak. Therefore, it will push the state to approve gambling expansion. The opportunity to capture new revenue will in the form of an upfront license fee and through taxes.
Sports betting is not the primary solution for states seeking new tax revenue. It is because the taxes on sports betting will generate just a fraction of 1% of most states’ budgets if it meets their estimates. However, many states fall short of those projections.
But with many states are currently struggling with their budgets, even a small revenue boost is better than none.
Legalization of Sports Betting in the United States
There are 18 states plus the District of Columbia offer sports betting. And four states offer online gambling, which includes online casino games, slots, and poker.
Sports betting has been approved in Virginia and Tennessee but has yet to launch. North Carolina allows two tribal casinos to offer and is considering a bill to enable statewide. Washington state provides at tribal casinos once regulations are in place. Lastly, Oklahoma allows two tribes to do so but is pending approval from federal authorities.
Ohio, Louisiana, and Massachusetts are realistic candidates to legalize sports betting this year. Louisiana is close to approving a November referendum on sports betting. Also, Ohio’s Legislature is moving forward with a bill that could authorize sports betting. It also includes mobile betting, but a competing measure could limit to in-person bets at casinos and race tracks.