Over the last few years, the legalization of sports betting has been gaining traction throughout the US. Whilst this is obviously good news for the online betting market – the US online betting market was valued at 57 billion just last year – it is also a positive development for US sport too.
With many sporting events being placed on the backburner throughout 2020 to 2021, there was a concern amongst fanatics – and the sporting industry – that the shape of sport would change over the coming years, with a lack of content leading to a drop-off in viewing figures. Like the sport of boxing itself, the industry has taken a hit and has been desperately trying to alleviate the wound ever since.
In many ways, legalized sport betting has the potential to be the perfect remedy. Focusing on boxing, in particular, this is a sport which has been struggling ever since its transition to cable and pay-per-view telecasting. Since then, it has been outside of the casual public consciousness and available only to passionate, dedicated fans who are willing to pay to watch it. With the growing sports betting industry in the US, however, there is a chance that boxing is about to regain its heavyweight title and revisit its former glory.
How Can Legalized Sport Betting Help?
To understand how exactly legalized sports betting can help, it is first important to look at its growth. The rise of the industry can be seen in the individual numbers. Indiana, for instance, saw record revenue numbers in September, 2022, earning $51.2 million in a single month – with reports revealing that $382.5 million was wagered in that period. Pennsylvania has also become a dark horse when it comes to market growth, with PA sports betting driving the gambling revenue up by 7.9% - the result of a large, 77.7% jump in sports betting revenue.
The growth in various states is important here. As more and more casual sports viewers are getting invested in the sports betting experience, so too are they wanting to discover more about the sports that are on offer. Boxing will likely reap the rewards of this, as it is relatively simple compared to most sports, and will therefore lead to a simple bet.
There is no point-spread; it is about which fighter will knock out the other. Targeted bets can be undertaken – a fighter wins in a specific round – but out of all the sports it is one of the most straightforward and easy-to-follow when it comes to tactics and decision-making. With this in mind, it is likely that casual sports betting enthusiasts will be eager to get in on the action and try their hand, as there are no complexities forming a wall between them and the sport. This could potentially lead to another crucial factor in boxing’s revival.
The Scope Will Change
Any boxing fan knows that Las Vegas, Nevada is the home of the fight. This is the way it has been ever since Las Vegas sports betting was made available in 1975, but the rise in legalized sports betting across the country could change this. According to sports commentator Jim Lampley, geographic expansion could ultimately be a positive thing for boxing in the long haul, as more and more people will come into contact with the game and invest in what it has to offer.
This is also important when considering the technology behind online sports betting. If boxing is becoming more of a country-wide sport, then it is reaching an audience far beyond what it was previously capable of, and this audience has the ability to bet on its big events from the comfort of their own home. This means that whenever there is a boxing event that should be garnering big numbers, there is a far greater chance that those numbers will be reached, as any casual fan will want to watch the sporting event that they have bet on. Like a line of dominos, legalized sport betting can help boxing crash down its walls and roll back into the public consciousness bigger and better than ever.
The Future For Boxing
The legalized sport betting industry is not there yet, however. Although over two dozen states have passed bills to legalize it, there are still a fair few which are hesitant. So long as there is still resistance, the sports betting market will not grow to the height that it is predicted to reach.
Having said that, it is likely – over the next few years or so – that every state will legalize sport betting in some form, and this will be a big moment when it comes to boxing. The effects are already being felt, but when the market reaches its predicted height, boxing has a prime opportunity to break out of the cage and rediscover its former glory.