The Legal Landscape of Sports Betting Around the World

Since PASPA was declared unconstitutional last year, more states are offering legal sports betting. While some have seen successful launches of legal sports gambling operations, others are still getting up and running.

Pennsylvania was one of the fastest states to implement sports betting, including mobile sports betting which launched in May 2019. Pennsylvania follows New Jersey closely when it comes to licensing requirements with each license holder being allowed three “skins.” Under an unprecedented revenue-sharing arrangement with Pennsylvania Lottery taking 51% as revenue share.


Sports betting’s legality varies drastically across the world, from being banned altogether to permitting it with stringent regulation in some nations. When allowed, revenue generated from sports betting may be taxed and used to fund amateur sport programs; sports governing bodies and various levels of government have taken various approaches in protecting event integrity and combatting betting corruption.

United States law and regulation continue to evolve around sports gambling five years after the Supreme Court overturned a federal ban that restricted such betting in most states. Last year alone, Americans bet an estimated total of almost $57 billion on sports.

While most states have made great strides toward legal sports betting, some states have had issues. Tennessee recently enacted a bizarre new rule mandating that sportsbooks use “official league data.” NBA and MLB leagues are fighting with Tennessee lotteries on this issue because it must preserve game integrity. Sports Handle has published extensively about this topic.

Bettors can rejoice, as more states are now coming onboard to legal sportsbook legislation in the US. Our individual state pages (available via dropdown or linked below) contain an exhaustive list. Recent additions include Louisiana (which launched an online sportsbook in June 2021); and Virginia Lottery who will take control of its market.


As legal sports betting has increased across states, states are exploring various approaches to regulate this rapidly developing industry. Some have adopted New Jersey’s model of centralizing regulation by designating one operator to run both retail and online sportsbooks; other jurisdictions take a more decentralized approach by leaving casino decisions about whether any sportsbooks may open.

North America is home to several of the top betting markets worldwide, but Europe remains a dominant force when it comes to sports gambling. Regulated in most states and estimated to have generated $5.4 billion in revenues in 2021 alone. There have been concerns raised regarding its negative societal ramifications especially among young people.

Sports betting in the US is legal in 30 states, with more states potentially legalising sports gambling this year. Americans placed nearly $57 billion worth of bets last year alone!

Future projections indicate an increasing number of states will offer sports betting, as more lawmakers introduce bills to bring this new form of gambling to their constituents. When creating laws pertaining to sports betting, state officials’ primary aim will likely be maximizing tax revenues generated from sports betting operations; this goal can foster healthy competition between operators while ultimately benefitting consumers.


Recent technological advancements have made betting on sporting events much simpler and more convenient, especially online betting where users can place bets without leaving home. Furthermore, security and safety have improved as customers can now place bets without leaving their homes; and virtual and augmented reality technologies are being integrated to enhance user experiences further.

Mobile network technology has enabled sports bettors to enjoy watching games while placing real-time bets, increasing user engagement and revenue for companies. 5G networks will further improve this experience, by decreasing latency times while simultaneously linking more devices, further enriching online sports betting experiences.

AI and machine learning technologies have also advanced the sports betting industry significantly. These tools analyze large volumes of data to detect trends that would otherwise go undetected, and construct predictive models which accurately forecast sporting event outcomes – further increasing sports betting credibility.

Legalized sports betting in the US has been instrumental in its rapid expansion. Thanks to Supreme Court decisions allowing people to bet online or in person on sports, more people have the option to bet and betting operators have expanded their operations significantly – the company that revolutionized daily fantasy sports – DraftKings now provides full range sports betting services across 17 states!


If you win money through sports betting, both federal and state taxes must be paid on that winnings regardless of its source. In the USA, winnings over $10,000 must be reported using Form 1040; any less won won’t require withholding tax payments.

Most states with legal sports betting have created taxes to target gross gaming revenue (GGR). This figure only shows how much money was staked on bets; any promotional bets, like free bets offered by sportsbooks to attract new customers, do not factor into GGR and thus it does not accurately represent actual gross revenue.

As more states legalize sports gambling, it’s essential that they consider its tax implications. A state’s primary goal should be increasing taxable revenue for various uses including education and infrastructure development; as a result, state legislatures and regulatory bodies must focus on creating the optimal tax environment for sports gambling – using an excise tax instead of sales or consumption taxes will more effectively generate desired revenue and also help internalize externalities associated with sports gambling.

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