The Official Betting Industry

The official betting industry is growing and boosting revenue for teams and venues. Major sports leagues have struck various partnerships, with the NBA’s first official gaming partner being MGM, the NHL with FanDuel, and numerous individual teams partnering directly with sportbooks (such as the Denver Broncos’ partnership with William Hill). This has led to brand new revenue streams and is buttressing existing ones.

In the United Kingdom, where legal sports betting has been around for a long time, fans are making bets on soccer, horse racing, tennis, Formula 1, and more. In 2021, it was estimated that sports betting contributed over $5.4 billion to the economy.

State-by-state regulations are the key to legal sports betting, which is available in more than 30 states (plus Washington DC). Iowa was one of the first post-PASPA states to introduce legal sports wagering, with a retail and online sportsbook going live on Dec. 31, 2020, at the Dover Downs Hotel & Casino. The book was launched by DraftKings Sportsbook and is powered by Kambi.

Athletes are educated about sports betting before every season, and the NCAA prohibits athletes from placing bets on a team or event that has an NCAA-sanctioned championship. However, many athletes still receive targeted harassment from bettors on social media or in person. In September 2023, an NCAA survey found 10% of Division I athletics departments reported student-athletes had been harassed by people with gambling interests. The NCAA is working to create a clearinghouse to address these concerns and develop best practices.