Once concentrated in Las Vegas (and a few other spots in Nevada), sports betting is now booming across the United States. Some of the reasons people are betting more include more states legalizing sports betting, the ability to bet online makes betting much easier, and betting sites offering incentives and rewards to their customers. But they are not the only reasons we are betting more. Here are some other reasons the relationship between sports betting and the American public is growing.
Accessibility and Quality of Sports Betting Technology
Although this fits into the online betting reason, it is different enough to include on this list.
Any product or service eventually will gain popularity as the product or service becomes more easily accessible, the costs (to the consumer and producer) decline, and the quality increases.
You could argue all of this started with telephone betting in the United Kingdom – which provided bettors with the ability to wager without leaving their homes. Internet betting followed, and as internet and mobile technologies advanced, the overall quality of sports betting improved, and the cost of providing the service declined.
Access to Sports
Not even that long ago, watching anything outside your regional team and primetime sports was a challenge. Video streaming did not exist, cable/satellite sports packages cost an enormous price, and it was nearly impossible to watch anything outside of North America.
Nowadays, we have access to anything and everything we want. Streaming services provide access to everything we want anywhere we are. Programs like NFL RedZone changed the way we watched football. The more we watch, the more we know, and the more we think we can bet on sports successfully.
Before we dive into this part, we want to state this is not about daily fantasy sports – which is an offshoot of sports betting. No, we are talking about the fantasy sports you play with your friends, families, co-workers, and strangers.
Think about fantasy sports for a second – say fantasy football. What comes to mind? Your knowledge of multiple players on every team? How about each team’s stats on offense and defence? What about a team’s weaknesses and where they can be exploited? The knowledge you get from fantasy sports is applicable for sports betting – and when people started to realize, Sundays were no longer only about their fantasy teams.
The End (or Lessening) of the Stigma Around Gambling
This reason is arguably the one that gets lost in the mix, but it has an undeniable influence on the rise of sports betting. For a long time, gambling and sports betting held a mostly negative view in the eyes of many American citizens. Outside of trips to Las Vegas, sports betting was only possible through seedy underground channels.
Over time though, views on sports betting slowly started to shift. Sports leagues in North America’s stance on gambling improved, offshore betting provided a safer way to bet, and resources to help with gambling problems are more widely available.
While not everywhere is as progressive on sports betting and gambling – Utah remains an outliner as a state where no forms of in-state gambling are legal – the country’s overall attitude is much more positive than 50, 20, even ten years ago.
Poker? Yes, poker plays a significant role in the rise of sports betting. Online poker was one of the first forms of internet gambling introduced to the United States – and arguably the first one to have real success.
Online poker’s success led to the televised tournaments, celebrity poker, and an overall bigger interest in the game. The exposure relates to the last point about the stigma around gambling. When you see something – where there is real money involved, fans enjoying it, and no one breaking any laws – you start to view it more positively.
If you have any thoughts or reasons why you started betting on sports, we would love to hear about them in the comments below.