In recent years, sports betting has become a major industry in America. Trillions of dollars have already been spent on this activity, and it is hardly a shock to learn that this figure is only expected to grow in the coming years. Sports betting is now legal in nine states, with more states considering legalization. 

Major cities such as Chicago are at the forefront of this industry growth. In 2019, the Illinois legislature passed a bill legalizing sports betting. This law went into effect on June 1st, 2020. Since then, numerous sports betting companies have set up shop in Chicago. 

In this article, we will take a look at how the industry has managed to grow across the US and why it has become part of the lifestyle for many of the country’s biggest cities and those that continue to reside there.

How Sports Betting Works

Sports betting is a simple concept. Individuals place bets on the outcome of sporting events. If their predictions are correct, they win money. If they are incorrect, they lose money.

Sports betting can be done online or in person at physical bookmakers. Bets can be placed on a wide variety of sporting events, including football, basketball, baseball, hockey, and even chess matches as well as other various activities. Essentially, if an event has potential outcomes, it’s likely eligible for wagering. To make informed betting decisions, relying on relevant trends like college basketball betting trends or broader sports betting analysis can be advantageous.

The amount of money that can be won or lost varies depending on the odds of the event and the amount of money wagered. For example, if someone bets $100 on a football game with odds of 2-to-1 (meaning that their team is expected to win), they stand to win $200 if their team does indeed win the game.

Which major American cities have embraced sports betting already?

As a result of the continued changing of attitudes across America and the evolution of attitudes towards sports betting, it should not come as a shock to learn that there are already a number of states with major cities that have already decided to implement it as a legal pastime.

When thinking of the states to have already legalized it, you can easily think of some of the nation’s biggest cities. For instance, Pennsylvania is one such example as you can immediately think of places such as Philadelphia and Pittsburgh, while the state of New York is another with New York City being one of the newest locations to have recently allowed the activity to take place.

Michigan has Detroit while Maryland has Baltimore. As mentioned, the great city of Chicago is located in Illinois; another state that has already implemented regulations to allow for legal sports betting to take place within its borders. Naturally, these are just a few of the major locations, however it is important to note that there is clearly no shortage at the moment.

However, there could be many more in the future, too, including places such as Cincinnati and Cleveland, with Ohio set to become one of the next states to permit the activity.

Indeed, the Ohio Sports Betting Launch is one that is highly anticipated, as many within the region are already looking forward to the time when they will be able to access some of the best sportsbooks America has to offer, thus ensuring that they are able to get only the best experiences possible.

Ohio is seen as an ideal location for the sports betting industry to thrive, too, with cities such as Cincinnati and Cleveland both boasting professional sports teams that are well-backed and loved by fans from the area. With the support that they both have, it would not be a surprise if we were to see the industry boom as much as it has in the other cities to have been mentioned.

Of course, it is also perhaps worth mentioning that locations such as California and Texas – with major cities such as Los Angeles, San Francisco, & Dallas – are yet to make sports betting legal, however there is every chance that this could change in the future.

The Future of Sports Betting in America

As can be seen, sports betting is a rapidly growing industry in America. It is currently legal in numerous states, with more states considering legalization to this very day. 

If current trends continue, it is estimated that sports betting will be legal in most American states within the next five years. This would be a major victory for the industry and would lead to an influx of new businesses and jobs related to sports betting. 

Major cities like Chicago are already well-positioned to take advantage of this rapid industry growth. Chicago has a long history of gambling and bookmaking; after all, it was home to some of America’s most famous mobsters too.

Additionally, Chicago is home to two MLB teams (the Cubs and White Sox), two NBA basketball teams (the Bulls and Timberwolves), one NFL team (the Bears), and one NHL team (the Blackhawks). All of these teams have rabid fan bases that would no doubt be interested in placing bets on their games if given the opportunity to do so legally.

With what we highlighted when talking about Ohio above in regard to why there is so much anticipation by sports fans for the activity, it is hardly a surprise a location such as Chicago – which has an extremely passionate fanbase for professional sports – it is hardly a surprise the future appears to look extremely bright for the city.

Final Thoughts

It is clearly impossible to state that the future of sports betting in America looks anything but bright. More and more states are legalizing it every year and as more people bet on sports, the industry will continue to grow rapidly in ways that many may have found impossible to imagine or predict. Major cities like Chicago will play a big role in this growth, as they are already well-positioned to take advantage of this rapidly growing industry, thus potentially leading the way to completely shake things up across the US.