Which is America’s game, football or baseball?
The answer is well on its way to becoming: neither. With astonishing speed, the national pastime is becoming sports betting — to the benefit of the sports leagues that long had rejected the practice.
As their numbers grow, these bettors could also reverse the slide in sports viewership, boosting the fortunes of professional sports’ broadcast partners and the consumer brands that advertise during commercial breaks in the action. That’s because people with money on the line watch more games than non-bettors, with a third of gamblers saying they watch several events every day, according to our polling of American adults.
In the two-and-a-half years since the Supreme Court effectively legalized sports betting nationwide, 21 states plus the District of Columbia enacted legislation permitting gambling on professional sports. The latest to join in include Maryland, Louisiana and South Dakota, where on Election Day, voterse approved ballot referendums allowing sports betting. That figure could reach 37 states by the end of 2023.
Wagering on sports also has been spurred by the rocket rise of fantasy sports, itself a species of sports betting. According to the same research from the Harris Poll, 69% of sports bettors became interested in it after