On May 14th, 2018, the US Supreme Court struck down the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA). Under 1992 federal law, the Act restricted single-game sports betting to Nevada and Las Vegas sportsbooks.
In 2018, sports betting became legal. According to the American Gaming Association (AGA), 63% of Americans supported the US Supreme Court’s decision. It was left to each state to determine the legality of sports betting within its borders.
Today the following 18 states, plus Washington D.C., offer legalized sports betting: Arkansas, Colorado, Delaware, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Mississippi, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, New Mexico, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and West Virginia. On May 1st, 2020, Colorado became the latest to permit a legal sports betting market.
Seventeen states with active bills waiting legislation include: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, California, Connecticut, Hawaii, Kansas, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Ohio, South Dakota, Vermont, and Virginia.
According to CNBC, it is expected that 50% of Americans will be living in states with legalized sports betting by the end of 2020. By 2024, it is estimated that 40 states will allow sports betting in some capacity. Experts believe the United States will emerge as home to the largest regulated sports betting market in the world.
Remember, sports betting and its’ restrictions are determined on a state-by-state basis. Some states offer only “over-the-counter” sportsbooks. Mobile wagering is not an option. Colorado law on the other hand allows for full mobile betting. Some states like Iowa offer only partial mobile betting. These consumers must register in-person before being able to bet on their mobile devices.
While more and more states await sports betting legislation, one thing is for certain: this industry is growing, and growing fast! Since June 2018, more than $20 billion dollars has reportedly been wagered legally on sports. Sports betting companies predict a $8 billion dollar revenue stream within the next five years, up from $833 million in 2019.
As stated by DraftKings CEO Jason Robins, even in the midst of zero live sports – rendered dormant because of Covid-19 – consumers wager on everything from table tennis to the possible outcomes of TV programs such as Tiger King.
This is only the beginning. The flood gates are open. Let the games begin.
From Chance To Code: How Artificial Intelligence Will Redefine Sports “Gambling.”
Within two years of nationwide legalization, sports betting is now offered in 18 states (and counting). Not only has this paramount regulatory shift given rise to the emergence of a new legal multi-billion dollar industry and taxable revenue stream, it has also lifted restrictions on the creativity and innovation needed to expedite the industry’s growth. One area in particular that stands to shape this market considerably is artificial intelligence.
Some of you are familiar with sports executive Paul DePodesta. Others may recognize him by the name Peter Brand, a pseudo fictional character portrayed by actor Jonah Hill in the film Moneyball, an adaption of Michael Lewis’ 2003 nonfiction book. DePodesta is recognized for his use of sabermetrics, an in-depth analysis of statistics, when scouting for talent-on-a-budget in an effort to form a winning team. This calculative methodology is credited in the film for the Oakland A’s 20-game win streak in 2002.
This same data can similarly be used to optimize a gambler’s chance of profitability when betting on the future outcomes of a game. Who better to capitalize on this notion than artificial intelligence companies. Paul DePodesta and then GM Billie Beane of the Oakland A’s nearly took the American League by math alone. Just imagine what computers can do for your bankroll!
With artificial intelligence and machine learning, companies are capable of continually tracking players and their performances across all sports. This data then can be used to generate predictive outcomes and provide a company’s customer base with “winning picks.” In this case, instead of bettors having to check the odds, algorithms do it for them.
There are all sorts of reasons why gamblers place their bets. Some are strictly fan-based. For example, I’m a Chiefs fan. When Superbowl LIV came along, I walked in to the casino nearest to my home in New Mexico and placed a dime on their winning the game. I had zero clue what the moneyline would pay, nor did I have any idea which team was favored and which was the underdog. I won. That’s dumb luck.
Then there are those that, regardless of allegiance to any team, bet on the tingle; that “this is it for sure” feeling. Gambling is able to seduce even the most frugal of players, certain that lady luck is at their side, into making that last bet. And when they win? Some suggest intuition prevails. Others say trust your gut. I imagine that if some source of cosmic-pull guides our decisions, its call to action is induced by more pertinent issues then the outcome of your prop bet. But hey, that’s just my opinion.
Lastly, there are those that understand math is involved in any game of chance. They look to stats before placing money on the table. Now, I’m not suggesting that you should go out and bet the farm on a line a code. These algorithms take large swaths of data from previous events and apply this data to predicting the “most likely” future outcome. There is always room for human error.
The question is whether or not human error alone stands between a game of chance and a game of calculation. No matter the odds, or the stats, chance will always have a seat at the table and reveal its hand for some at the most unseemly moments. Gambling will never be a sure thing and the gambler’s bankroll will forever be at risk when placing a bet. But if you must, bet alongside the computer programs being written by the whiz kid. Unless it’s the Chiefs. They will win, no matter the odds.
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