The online world plays a huge role in our daily lives. We use it to shop, earn money, talk to friends, catch up on the news, and even to meet potential love interests.
Now in many American states it’s possible for adults to place legal wagers on sporting events as well. This adds an extra layer of convenience, security, and excitement to supporting one’s favorite athletes, not to mention the prospect of pocketing a little extra cash as well.
US Supreme Court strikes down controversial anti-wagering law
Concerns about the alleged negative effects of online sports wagering led the US Congress to pass the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) back in 1992.
Signed by then-president George H. Bush, the act soon proved unpopular and difficult to enforce. The decentralized nature of the Internet meant that Americans and Canadians could simply turn to overseas websites or illegal operators to indulge their wagering hobby.
Unfortunately, the unregulated nature of these channels posed a constant threat to innocent people. Many bettors found themselves the victims of ID fraud and other scams. Intended to protect Americans and others, PASPA was harming them instead.
Landmark government ruling changes the nature of the game
Concerns over the problems with PASPA led the state of New Jersey to challenge the law through the US court system. The issue went back and forth until May of 2018, when the Supreme Court declared that PASPA is illegal.
The benefits of this important ruling became clear almost immediately. With the overturn of PASPA, American adults in many states could now place online wagers on regulated websites protected by state-of-the-art cybersecurity measures.
New Jersey soon set up its own wagering system, followed by other states. Online sports betting is now either legal or in the process of being legalized in much of the country.
Substantial benefits for the public
The public payoffs from private betting are substantial, even for people who never place a wager. Here’s why:
- The wagering industry employs hundreds of thousands of Americans and Canadians, many in good-paying jobs: The number is expected to increase as sports betting becomes more common.
- State and federal coffers are already seeing substantial revenue enhancements: This means more money for road construction, education, and other vital initiatives. It also makes America a more vital trading partner for Canadian economic interests.
- Legal wagering offers a safe, state-regulated alternative to illegal and offshore operations: This is good news for law-abiding people and bad news for criminals.
- Legal sports betting is in line with the great American-Canadian tradition of liberty: Americans and Canadians have always prided themselves on having an open society. Legalized wagering is in harmony with this heritage.
The situation in Canada
The changes in America mirror the situation here in Canada, where each province or territory already allows some form of sports wagering.
Whether the changes in the US will affect the legislative environment here is a matter of speculation. You should contact your local municipal office or legislator if you have any questions about this topic.
A thriving part of the internet revolution
The technological breakthroughs that make safe, legal online wagering possible are but one example of the way the Internet continues to evolve. Going forward, sites such as Fox Bet will offer the ability to track games in real-time from any mobile device.
For example, let’s say you’re a basketball fan and want to follow the score of an NBA game. You’ll be able to do it at will, even if you’re engaged in other activities at the time. More and more outlets will offer this feature going forward, including online news sources.
The forecast for the future shows smooth sailing
Currently 11 American states have legalized online sports wagering, while 24 others are expected to pass similar legislation soon. Industry observers believe that most states will eventually make this exciting form of sports engagement available to their residents.
Safe, legal sports betting is but one example of how technology is enhancing every aspect of our lives. With computers and mobile devices becoming more powerful all the time, all of us can look forward to a more entertaining future.