Many tribal and commercial casinos are now gearing up to launch sports betting products after their respective states pass legislation that allow them to offer sports betting services. Now –  the US lottery industry wants in on the action.
The US Supreme Court (SC) recently overturned the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) of 1992, which will essentially allow all US states to decide whether they will create legislation to allow and regulate sports betting in their own jurisdictions. The response from the states and the gambling industry has been phenomenal since the SC started hearing the case, and many states have already starting drafting amendments to their gambling bills to include sports wagering.
With the whole American gambling industry interested in getting a piece of the sports betting market, the national lottery system wants to make sure it does not miss out on potential revenue.
State Lotteries Keen On Sports Betting
State lotteries have long been supportive of giving state governments the ability to decide on gambling laws for their respective states. In 2011, the North American Association of State and Provincial Lotteries’ (NASPL) adopted a resolution that states should have the right to create their own legal gambling products, in response to the federal government ban on internet gaming.
On the sports betting front, as early as 2016, state lottery officials met with the American Gaming Association (AGA) to learn more about the sports betting campaign. This was around the time when New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie was rallying support for his case to overturn the PASPA act.
Charlie McIntyre, executive director of the New Hampshire Lottery and chair of the NASPL government relations committee said that NASPL has been wanting to participate in an open dialogue on sports betting and wanted the lotteries to have the ability to incorporate sports betting in their portfolios if ever PASPA was overturned.
According to McIntyre, Delaware and Montana lotteries have already been offering sports betting products successfully as these two states along with Nevada were allowed to offer sports betting prior to the PASPA ruling. The Delaware Lottery offers parlay sports betting on NFL games from as little as $2 to as much as $100, while the Montana Lottery has been successfully offering NFL and NASCAR-related fantasy sports.
In 2017, when the NASPL met for a conference in Portland, Oregon, they also discussed the possibility of adding sports-betting related lottery games, and tapping online casinos to offer a variety of fantasy sports products.
Advantage of US Lotteries
Since all US states are now eligible to draft their own sports betting laws, the field is wide open for all players to start offering sports betting services. There are reports that as many as 20 states are making headway in terms of legislation to accommodate and regulate sports betting.
According to the NASPL, they are strongly equipped to join and offer sports betting if permitted to do so, since lotteries have strong relationships with clubs, pubs, and bars, which would be natural venues to conduct sports wagering. NASPL’s member lotteries currently offer sales in more than 200,000 retail locations in the country.
Since online sports betting is also in the mix, NASPL believes that their technical expertise in offering online lottery games could be an advantage when it comes to developing sports betting platforms or information archives via mobile and website apps. The US lottery industry has been allowed to offer gambling products online since 2011, and their existing technology and experience could be a jump-off point for many sports betting products.
In a statement, McIntyre said, “The lottery industry is ready to help establish the real-world network that would be involved if called upon to do so…The court’s ruling on PASPA will help preserve the founding principles and integrity of American lotteries [and] potentially provide the freedom necessary to enhance the more than $22 billion that American lotteries returned to their states in FY2017.”
US Lottery Operations
The US lottery industry currently generates as much as $80 billion in sales every year, which is more than what the casino industry earns from punters on an annual basis. Last year, $73.5 billion of that chunk was made on traditional lottery tickets, while some $6.5 billion is made from electronic lottery games. NASPL believes that if they add sports betting into their portfolio, they can earn more and essentially funnel more money into these state-funded projects for the citizens.

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