Gambling software allows any person to create and run a sportsbook. Although individually operated gambling businesses have flourished since the beginnings of the pay per head industry, an essential question remains, “Are bookies illegal?” Check out the information on the history of sports betting in the U.S. and facts that can help you answer the question for yourself.
Everywhere we turn, it appears someone has an opinion on a sports event. Every major sports broadcast network, ESPN, CBS Sports, Fox Sports, etc., has a daily show committed to sports betting.
On these shows, top sports tout service professionals, those who provide picks to players for monetary compensation, hand out their best bet of the day. Large corporations run broadcast networks with shows like ESPN’s Bet, which launched on September 14 last year, don’t hide the fact they’re promoting sports betting.
That doesn’t mean bookies are legal. It does mean more people today are okay with wagering on sports events than in the past. It also means that betting on sports has become more prevalent and that companies like Disney, which owns ESPN, see an opportunity to encourage the practice.
A word of caution before you continue reading – we can’t answer the question of whether bookies are illegal. Nobody can. Instead, we want to present facts about sports betting in the United States so you can decide if you’re going to continue or create your own sportsbook business.
With the right pay per head partner, bookmakers that offer free betting software can provide everything larger sportsbooks can. Also, running a full sportsbook remains cheaper than other online businesses, making sportsbook ownership attractive for many entrepreneurs.
History of Sports Betting in the United States
By studying an industry’s history, we can gain a better understanding of it. Bookmaking in the United States is no different. There are three types of wagering in the U.S.
The first, and the one most are familiar with, is betting in casinos. The second is betting on sports. The third is betting on horses.
Although wagering on sports and betting on casino games have become more popular than horses, plopping down money on ponies started way before shelling out cash to back a sports team. Gambling in a racebook began in the early 1800s.
The first racebooks existed on track. Horse racing bookies offered different odds on the entrants for each race. Horse racing bettors, or “punters,” if you want to use the term from the period, grabbed the best odds they could.
Putting money down on actual sports teams didn’t happen until 1876. That year, National League Baseball formed. Like horse racing, the early days of baseball saw mass fraud. Gambling ran the NLB, and then gambling ran the American League Baseball after its creation in 1901.
Whether bookies are illegal is up to states after the Supreme Court’s 2018 decision
From 1876 until 1931, sports betting was mostly illegal in the United States. Betting on sports remained prevalent, though, which is why every mob movie or television show ever seems to have a scene about sports betting.
By making sports wagering bookies illegal, the nation handed it over to criminal enterprises. That changed somewhat in 1931 when Nevada legalized gambling.
The Interstate Wire Act of 1961 helped to stem criminal involvement further. The U.S. Government came out with the act to protect state lotteries. It had the secondary effect of driving sports betting to a local level.
The Clinton Administration passed the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992. PAPSA made it illegal for any state, save for Nevada, to allow sports betting with bookies on single games. One more law affected betting on teams, the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006.
This law prevented credit card companies and banks from allowing specific financial instruments for gambling transactions. The law fomented the rise of cryptocurrency, especially Bitcoin, usage when making sportsbook transactions.
In 2018, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down PAPSA. By doing so, the Court opened the door for any state, if it wished, to legalize sports betting. So far, only eighteen states have legalized betting on sports.
Like Delaware, Mississippi, and New York, many of those states allow in-person sports betting but no online betting on sports. California, the largest betting market in the United States, won’t legalize sports betting until 2023, and when the Golden State does, it is likely to be legal only at tribal casinos.
Sports betting had a banner 2020
Even though many states are continuing to make betting on sports through bookies illegal, or have strong regulation regarding wagering on sports events, 2020 saw a massive uptick in action. The action has led to a couple of American companies stretching their wagering bases.
Caesars Entertainment bought William Hill, one of the most famous U.K. sports betting operations in existence, for $4 billion. MGM is said to be in talks with Ladbrokes for $11 billion.
Consolidation should help PayPerHead agents
Consolidation on a Caesars and MGM level should help PayPerHead.com agents. Although it’s impossible to answer the question, “are bookies illegal?” one thing is for sure.
Bookmakers who use the best sportsbook software can compete with giant sportsbook conglomerates and companies like DraftKings and FanDuel. In many ways, the software using local bookie offers player advantages that corporate organizations can’t. Anonymity is the chief among them.
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