Will Legalized Sports Betting Hurt Nevada Sports Gambling?

With the real possibility of online sports gambling becoming legal in the coming years, if not months, there are a lot of questions about whether this potential fact will end Nevadaís reign as the mecca of legal sports betting in the United States. Millions of people use offshore gambling sites already, even without the legal say-so of US law so you can imagine how many people would turn to online gambling, as opposed to Nevada sports gambling if it was legal.

The traditional bookmaker could be a dying breed as these online outlets begin their journey into the industry. Art Mantaris, the dean of Las Vegas sportsbook directors, disagrees with that wholeheartedly as he believes that Nevada will always be the epicenter of sports betting in the United States. He feels that even when betting is legal around the country, bets would be transmitted through Vegas saying "In a perfect world, things would flow into Nevada and there would be a point-of-consumption tax, just like there is in the U.K.," He would go on to say "If they're betting from Colorado or California, you'll get a tax credit back to your state from where that bet emanated."

Whatever the case, Nevada is already preparing for such a change. They have already implemented a mobile option at most of their sportsbooks and back in 2015, the state passed legislation that allows Nevada to control sports betting pools in other legal authorities. Nevada has also begun the process of allowing out-of-state players to make investments into their sports betting ventures, which would be controlled by the state.

Support Of Legalized Sports Gambling In Nevada

While Mantaris and other Las Vegas sportsbook personnel arenít as confident in the potential change in laws, some other big name gambling operators are in support of legalized sports gambling in Nevada. Boyd Gaming, William Hill and of the biggest casino companies in the country, the MGM Grand, have all joined a coalition at the American Gaming Association (AGA) which aims to lift the federal prohibition on sports betting in the United States called PASPA. With that goal in mind, itís safe to say that they donít seem too worried about Nevada remaining the monopoly Nevada has on the industry, rather they are focused on the expansion of other jurisdictions and allowing for sports betting nationwide.

Nevada Sportsbooks vs. Offshore Sportsbooks

Nevada sportsbooks have been wildly successful in the last few years as they have broken records as far as the amount of money bet in each of the past three years. The last losing month that Nevada has experienced was back in July of 2013. Hereís where that is put into perspective though because even with all of that success, it is estimated that over 90% of sports bets in the United States are done at offshore sportsbooks. So when it comes to Nevada sportsbooks vs. offshore sportsbooks, the winner is pretty clear.

Even with that being the case, just because sports betting becomes legalized, that doesnít mean it will be a simple transition to get players to make the switch. The goal right now is to remain competitive with the offshore sites but even that isnít quite enough. ESPN interviewed a longtime bookmaker at offshore sites, Scott Kaminsky, and he told them that "If they want to go against the offshore, they have to have the same type of menu that the offshore does, which includes all the props, all the liveÖIf they do it the right way and you can bet anywhere inside the U.S., I think they'll maybe convert 35-40 percent of the people off of the offshore back to the states."

It will be interesting to see how this whole situation plays out but one thing is for sure, the sports gambling industry is only going to continue to gain more popularity the more accessible it is. Itís time the federal government embraces USA online sportsbooks and change with the times.