Sports Betting May Be Used to Stimulate Economic Growth Across the States

In the year in which President Trump is hoping to secure his second term in office, the economic news can hardly be what he was hoping for. With the country poised on the verge of a recession and employment figures decidedly uncertain for the future, the country could be said to be at something of a crossroads.

Taken at state level, it seems almost certain that all fifty will be facing a budget deficit of some kind this financial year. The only question is just how substantial that deficit will prove to be. So now, more than ever, more and more state legislatures will be looking around for additional sources of revenue that they hope will see them through what could turn out to be very difficult times. It may just be that the historic ruling by the Supreme Court back in May 2018 could come to the rescue, and many states are hoping that the solution could lie in sports betting.

Sports betting legislation in Iowa

One of the states in which it could prove critical to the fiscal budget is Iowa. Following the Supreme Court’s decision in May ‘18 it only took the state 12 months to pass through its own legislation which eventually came into force in August 2019.

Iowa has a long history of being one of the more betting-friendly states so it’s not surprising that they were the 11th to make the move after others like New Jersey and Delaware. You’ll find full details both of the history of the activity in the state on along with a comprehensive Iowa sports betting map showing all of the main places where you can place a wager. It’s also possible to apply filters to the map to pinpoints casinos, racetracks and other places where it’s possible to place your bet.

It’s not confirmed just how big the budget deficit that sports betting will need to fill for Iowa, but with 90% of revenues coming from the badly hit income and sales taxes it’s certain to be significant.

The benefits that sports betting revenues can bring

The most obvious benefit that the rising popularity of legal sports betting brings comes in the form of the tax revenues that it raises. Ever since the activity was legalized, it’s been estimated that this has reached the dizzying heights of $60 million. This is money that can then go into financing everything from the infrastructure to education and from cleansing services to social security payments.

Individual states also have the power to set the level of taxation that they level on sportsbook operators at a percentage that they feel is appropriate. This can vary widely: for example, in Delaware and Rhode Island operators are taxed 50% of their profits while in the more moderate New Jersey and Mississippi it’s only around 14%. As you might expect, the state with the lowest taxes, as well as by far the highest revenue, is Nevada where the figure is just 6.75% – which still manages to bring in over $6.5 billion a year from all gambling sources.

Then there are all the associated benefits that sports betting can bring in, including providing extra employment as well as creating extra footfall at bricks and mortar casinos, racetracks and similar venues

The key sports of attract gambling

It’s rather ironic that it was all the sports who most strongly opposed betting for so long that have become the biggest money spinners – American football, basketball and baseball. Their supposed objection was that once money was wagered on the outcomes of their matches, it might well compromise the integrity of those involved in the sports. The fact that undoubtedly the biggest event in the US sporting calendar, the Superbowl, has always involved many billions of dollars in illegal bets was conveniently overlooked by the NFL.

But this is no longer an issue and now even some official partnerships have been formed. For example, the NBA is now an official partner of MGM Resorts International so we may well expect other leading sports bodies to start setting up their own links with high profile names from the world of gambling.

Now that sports betting is starting to establish itself fully in the country, it’s also likely to expand out into other sports with soccer being one of the front runners. With teams, particularly in the UK and Europe, having worldwide followings, plus the prospect of next year’s delayed Euros championships as a high profile tournament to bet on, this seems like a logical choice.

Looking to the future

From a sound start, there are many predictions that the growth of sports betting will be rapid in the country. By 2024 it is estimated that 50% of the population will live in a state where it is legal and it will be generating an annual revenue in excess of $8 billion.

In the shorter term, however, it also has a big contribution to make – and the states that have not yet legalised sports betting may well soon be regretting their tardiness.