Sports Betting in 2020
We saw record numbers for sports betting in 2020 despite all the obstacles, and with those record numbers came tons of state revenue. For example, New Jersey saw over $6 billion in sports wagering in 2020. This led to months like December, in which the state made over $7 million from sports betting alone.
Then, there were states like Tennessee, which took a less bettor friendly approach with a higher licensing fee and tax rate. However, in these states, bettors are still flocking, and the cash is rolling in. Tennessee’s first month of betting in November saw a sports betting handle surpass $131 million, and the state took home almost $2.5 million in tax revenue. That kind of money can completely change a state’s books when it comes to budgeting.
These numbers obviously become even more exciting when put into context. 2020 was devastating for many when it came to disposable income, as the pandemic caused many to lose their jobs. You also have the fact that so many sporting events were canceled or moved around, creating uncertainty for bettors. If 2020 could see such a positive outlook, it is crazy to think what 2021 and 2022 could do.
Several other states have talked about legalizing after seeing the numbers that 2020 came in with, including New York, where Governor Cuomo is pushing for legalization. On top of this, Massachusetts, Georgia, Florida, Missouri, and Ohio are all putting bills in place to legalize. This is alongside Maryland and Louisiana, which legalized in the November election and are hoping to launch in late 2021.
California Sports Betting
The beginnings of a sports betting bill in California is starting to take place. However, this is being proposed by the tribal casinos in the state. The bill does not seem to be focused on mobile sports betting, which is a huge red flag, though nothing is set in stone at the moment.
California could take the New Jersey approach, making itself extremely bookie friendly, or the Tennessee approach, making tax revenue the focus. However, the thing that these two share is online and mobile wagering readily available for all legal bettors in the state. This has to be at the center of any bill that lawmakers in California propose to the people of the state to vote on.
When looking at the numbers, the amount of money that California could generate could forever change the makeup of this state. If it were focused on education, like many other states, then there is a world where it significantly upgrades the lives of children or college students forever for California.
One has to remember that California is the richest and most populous state and some project that California could reach a monthly $4 billion sports betting handle, which would obviously crush records across America. That is $100’s of millions in state revenue every year for education.
Sports betting is starting to become standard across the United States, and the earlier that California embraces the change, the better it will be for the state in the long run.