Back in 2018, the US Supreme Court ruled that states have the right to decide for themselves whether they want to regulate sports betting or ban it. Many states see regulated gambling as a means to generate some extra income from these types of activities, so with their newfound freedom to do so, many have decided to go with it. After a long debate with the sports leagues, of course.
Online sports betting outlets have gone live in 16 states by the end of 2019, and several more have codified it since the beginning of 2020. The latest addition to the list is the state of Colorado, where several betting outlets went live on May 1st. In several other states, punters can start looking for guides on how to become a high roller as their legislatures have ratified regulations for this type of activity.
The rollout of betting outlets was overshadowed, in turn, by an almost complete shutdown of live sports due to the ongoing pandemic. The situation has improved a bit in some parts of the world – in Europe, for example, almost all sports have returned, with strict regulations meant to protect the health of the players and staff alike. But in the US, the situation doesn’t seem to improve from this point of view.
New Jersey approves bets on table tennis, among others
Amid the widespread shutdowns, New Jersey’s Division of Gaming Enforcement has approved bets on sports that are usually not very sought-after in the US. Among them, we find table tennis, Swedish handball, and Turkish volleyball, among others. New Jersey is one of the states where limited betting on eSports was already allowed – the regulators are now considering to lift some restrictions, allowing punters to bet on events that don’t involve high schools or too many underage participants.
Nevada embraces eSports
In Nevada, the gambling regulator has expanded approvals for operators offering eSports bets to their customers. The offers can now include disciplines like League of Legends, Overwatch, or eNascar. The Nevada Gaming Control Board requires approvals specific for each event.
Although punters are allowed to register an account remotely with the operators, they will still need to verify their identity in person, otherwise, they won’t be able to participate in expanded eSports betting options.
When will sports return to the US?
With all the betting outlets emerging, only one question remains: when will sports return?
The NBA has named July 31 a “tentative” start date for the season, with 22 teams returning to play. The plan is still to use the Walt Disney World Resort near Orlando, Florida as a single site for all games and connected activities for the remainder of the season. The NHL will startup a day before, on July 30.
The NFL has expressed its hopes for players to return to training in late July but the rise of COVID-19 cases in several states that are home to major NFL teams, which makes this timetable pretty questionable.
The MLB seems to have worked out all the differences between the players and the shareholders – all 30 teams will begin training at the beginning of July, and the 60-game regular season will start on July 23.
And Major League Soccer has announced its return to the playfield on July 8, with the beginning of the “MLS is Back Tournament”, with Orlando City facing Inter Miami at 8:00 PM ET.
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