Much has been talked about how America will be reshaped ever since Joe Biden was officially elected as the new President of the United States. As the democratic candidate gears up to take over the Donald Trump ran White House a lot of changes are expected all over the country. With an unexpected but now familiar global pandemic making the world come to a screeching halt affecting almost all industries including professional sports and entertainment, what can we honestly expect for 2021 and the years ahead from the Biden-Harris administration regarding the sports betting industry?
Up until early 2018 talking about the legalization of sports betting in the US was always shun upon by legal and government authorities. Then on May 14th, 2018 the dynamic started to change. With the striking down of the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act in New Jersey, each state is now allowed to offer athletic wagering. To this day, betting on sports is allowed in 22 states and the District of Columbia and as many as 17 more states are expected to allow this activity by 2023.
It was expected for the Trump office to fully back the idea of legalizing this line of businesses, mainly based on the fact of Donald Trump being an avid supporter of the legalization of sports betting since the early 90’s in Atlantic City. When push came to shove nothing happened. The Trump Administration was quick to back professional sports leagues opposing the allowing of sports betting in the state of New Jersey, something that at the end of the day didn’t really do anything to help stop the Supreme Court from giving the thumbs up on the matter.
With a new democrat government about to take the wheel in DC will the sports wagering industry start getting more recognition and a more even playing field to work with? It is estimated that about $150 million are wagered on sports every year in the United States so one would think brighter days are to come.
While the Biden campaign was all in talking about the efforts it will make to battle key situations like the COVID pandemic, the rebuilding of the economy and other subjects, sports betting and everything related to the industry was mostly left out of all the big campaign rallies and promises. But hold on, let’s not start overreacting or getting pessimistic about the matter. Former VP Biden said that he doesn’t support adding any unneeded restrictions to the betting and gaming industry like the Trump Administration has done in their term in the presidency. This all comes from the involvement of most major sports leagues wanting the government to implement regulations on the sports betting industry, some that would allow for one general set of rules for the industry instead of individual state legislations and for leagues to collect at least 1% of the pool of bets as an integrity fee.
Biden has also said that he believes states and federal authorities should cooperate to ensure that gambling is safe, fair and corruption-free. With these statements one could feel free to believe that Biden might support the federal government and independent state legislatures stepping up more and actually doing something to help an industry that is in constant growth.
With everything on the table waiting for President Elect Biden to take office it seems like the online betting industry will not see many significant changes in this government. Also with the legalization of sports wagering in different states across the US already in play, with more states gearing up to legalize this activity and groups like the American Gaming Association explicitly asking Congress to stay away from state level sports betting decisions it seems like the Biden administration will be more than happy to allow this and let each state and the betting industry settle the way they wish to work together. What is key and apparent in this situation is that any threat or danger that the sports betting industry could have faced with another Trump administration term in office seems like it will fade under Biden’s administration.