Unless you are just waking up from a deep coma then you are probably aware that legal sports betting has come to stay in many states. The boom of the industry is seemingly without a bust in site with even the worldwide coronavirus pandemic only putting a temporary dampener on the handles being wagered across legalized states.

This industry like many others that sprung up overnight feels growing pains that can only be remedied after years or maturing. Think back to the personal computer boom that took the world by storm from the 80s to 90s and the regulation and stabilization that finally brought a halt to the ecological disaster caused by e-waste. Before governments decided everyone should use usb there were tens if not hundreds of different single use cables used to connect and power devices which lead to electronic waste on a scale never before seen.

In the world of legal sports betting individual states have, for the most part, been left to their own devices when it comes to regulating and keeping track of revenue figures state by state. While this may not always be causing mass hysteria and confusion it is a nuisance for those interested in tracking the fledgling industry.

Does It Make a Difference to Be Different?

At the time of the writing of this article there are over twenty states that have made the leap towards legal sports betting with there being just about as many different ways that they choose how to release their handle figures to the public.

New Jersey, with her long and sometimes complicated history with betting, has appointed the Division of Gaming Enforcement to publicly display when they will release reports every month for the month before. This approach to publicly list the revenue reports in a timely manner coupled with their position as first to legalize (aside from NV of course) sports betting has created an atmosphere of anticipation of these reports by media outlets as a sort of temperature test for the industry as a whole. This bellwether approach transformed into a canary in a coalmine during the early half of the coronavirus signaling to other states what they had coming in terms of lost revenue.

In other states the approach to publishing revenue statistics varies wildly making for a complicated field to sort through when trying to gauge the health of the sports betting market. This made things especially muddled when sports were being cancelled earlier this year due to corona concerns.

In Iowa the Racing and Gaming Commision posts their monthly statistics ‘sometime in the middle of the month’. This may not seem like such a big deal at first glance but when you take into consideration that this is a fledgling industry that already handles hundreds of millions of dollars every month across the US, then this uncertain date of revenue reporting can have major consequences on this subsection of the economy. During the early coronavirus pandemic news agencies fell over themselves to report on the New Jersey sports handle report because it signaled how much the average american bettor felt that he or she could confidently wager that month. In a shrinking economy in a tailspin one would expect the average bettor to stop betting altogether, thus the importance of the reports to stock market watchers around the world.

When you consider these factors the bigger picture starts to come into focus.

Why Are They All So Vastly Different?

After the repeal of PASPA the decision to legalize sports betting fell onto the shoulders of the individual states themselves, and not just that but also the policing and regulation of such states. With most of these governments only having experience in betting from their state lotteries they were left without a huge amount of in state know-how to draw from and likely set up shop in any way they saw fit.

The Argument for Synchronization

A modest proposal? Maybe. As it stands the sports betting industry on its inevitable march to one day enter into every US state still has a lot of growing to do, and that can start with giving out a strong signal of confidence by syncing together monthly revenue reports. Admittedly this is a tall order in the current political climate we find ourselves in with states pitting themselves against one another along political lines.

As of now the current system leads to speculation, and in the case of the corona-virus outright panic in the eyes of market watchers. In order to win over more states that are still dubious of legalized sports betting a strong show of solidarity can do wonders.