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Why is Online Sports Betting Illegal in America?

Online sports betting is America not likely to take off due to an pre-Internet age law.

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Many have been arrested for running illegal sports betting rings. These are usually run by criminal gangs, even mafias, as normal citizens would risk too much since American gambling laws prohibit online sports betting.

Even the recent move towards legalization of online casinos in United States excludes online sports betting. This is due to 20-year-old law, The Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992, or Bradley Act in short, which prohibits sports betting with the exception of few states.

One of which is Nevada, of course. Thanks to that, Las Vegas-based sportsbooks raked in $90 million on recent Super Bowl bets. But, this is just a tip of an iceberg. As estimated, total Super Bowl bets this year have produced close to $1 billion, most of which were illegal, although punters abroad can bet on sports in US online.

On the other side, some of the US-based punters actually bet on sports via foreign online sportsbooks. This makes serious money leave the country. Legalizing sports betting would keep that money in America and create jobs. And, of course, tax revenues.

All at the expense of not only offshore sites, but also at the expense of criminals. That would surely punish them well without costing taxpayers a penny.

Illegal wagers, indeed, account for many billions of dollars, some estimate that the amount exceeds $300 billion. That’s as much as Pachinko revenues in Japan. Some betting and gambling markets are so huge that any sensible legislator would vote to seek expanded tax revenues.

However, this is not so simple as many lobbying efforts go against legalization of sports wagering in America. Some want to protect their turf, while others do so for religious reasons as if gambling was a sin. Sin or not, people will bet.

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