It’s hard to believe but up until a few months ago, making a friendly bet with a colleague on the outcome of the Superbowl in America could have landed you in hot water. That was thanks to the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act, first made law in 1992.
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Under the terms of the act, betting on sports was prohibited in all but two states. The law was not without opposition, but it was really only in 2009 that a real campaign to have it overturned started. New Jersey spearheaded this campaign.
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As you will see in the infographic originally published on NJGames that battle was hard fought. However, it was worthwhile. A few months ago, the United States Supreme Court declared that PASPA was unconstitutional. The court decided that whether or not to legalize betting was something that should be left to the legislature of each individual state.
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How The Situation Stands Now
It is still early days, but 23 states have since opted to introduce legislation to legalize sports betting. Of these, only seven have had the bills successfully passed so far, but that will no doubt change with time.
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The other 24 states seem to be sitting on the fence about the issue; they have not attempted to make any changes yet. So far, Utah is the only state to have come out in opposition to the change. The state is morally opposed to the concept so don’t expect to see changes there soon.
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How Could States Benefit?
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You might wonder what all the fuss is about. After all, what difference could a few bets make anyway? Well, if you are looking at extra tax revenue in the region of 15%, quite a bit. States are expected to get a boost of around $3.4 billion dollars per annum. Then, of course, there is the boost to the economy and the creation of jobs.
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In the long term, this somewhat emotive issue could boil down to a rough calculation of the potential financial benefits that accrue.

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