Research Brief: The Economics of Sports Betting
As the United States awaits a decision by the U.S. Supreme Court on the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992 (“PASPA”) in the Murphy v. NCAA case, stakeholders are busy evaluating the size of the sports betting market opportunity and contemplating how to take advantage of the opportunity. Several government stakeholders have already enacted legislation
regarding the potential for sports betting, including the most recent legislation passed in Pennsylvania (2017) and West Virginia (2018). Many other state governments have introduced
proposed legislation for the new potential market opportunity, including Iowa, Illinois, Michigan, New York, and Connecticut.
These enacted and proposed legislative pieces have begun to shape the potential regulatory framework of a legalized sports betting market in each state, including setting tax rates and
licensing fees. Other stakeholders, including the professional sports leagues, have suggested that an integrity (royalty) fee should be levied as well. Unfortunately, some of these proposed taxes and levies do not fit within the economic construct of the sports betting opportunity as the margins achieved in the industry are too slim for the operator to generate enough profit to justify investment.