Sports Betting Now Widely Accepted in American Culture – What Changed?


It’s no secret that sports betting was illegal in most of the United States until recent years. Was it a moral issue? Why exactly did almost every state outlaw sports betting and only now are loosening up to it?

Like any country on Earth, the United States has had a checkered history when it comes to most every topic. There was alcohol prohibition in the 1920’s and early 1930’s. All that did was serve to make bootleggers and gangsters extremely wealthy. The public demanded that they get their drink back. After all, how can you call yourself “land of the free” if you cannot decide things for yourself?

Cannabis products have been illegal in the United States for as long as anyone alive can remember. But in the last few years that is changing as more and more states allow the sale of it.

Now we get to sports betting. It has been illegal in almost every state since the founding of the country. But now you can gamble on sporting events from 30+ states using online sportsbooks. So what changed? It was a slow burn which made it possible and it went something like this:

  1. State adopt lotteries in the 80’s and 90’s
  2. Fantasy sports is legal and allows people to indirectly bet on sporting events by picking players and betting on their teams.
  3. The Supreme Court repeals a law which prohibited betting on sports.

With states able to tax the income on both sides of the revenue stream (double dip), there has been a rush to set up sports betting in each and every state. The USA is slowly but surely turning into the land of the free, truly.

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