New research from the American Gaming Association estimates that half of the 50 states in the U.S. will either legalize or examine legalizing sports betting in 2019.
The AGA estimated that $6 billion was wagered on the Super Bowl this year, the vast majority of that total consisting of illegal bets. Separate AGA research showed that 80 percent of the U.S. population is in favor of legalizing sports betting, and 66 percent of Americans believe regulation of sports betting should proceed solely at the state level.
At a conference call on sports betting two weeks ago, Sara Slane, senior vice president of public affairs, said betting on major sporting events has become an American tradition.
“Wagering on the Super Bowl is embedded into the fabric of the American culture,” Slane said. “In fact, Americans will bet 10 times more on the Super Bowl than they will spend on pizza and chicken wings the night of the game. Americans’ desire for legal sports betting is real and there is still plenty of work to do to eliminate the illegal market.”