In the United States, the lucrative industry of sports betting has sure come a long way since its early beginnings. This is especially true for Las Vegas, the country’s premier destination for all things entertainment – a title the city has held for quite some time now.
It all started back in 1949 when Sin City opened its first official sportsbook facility and quickly began accepting wagers on a variety of sports, such as horse racing and football. This groundbreaking achievement was largely thanks to bookmakers who pushed to have more regulated operations and services for their customers.
However, the government started to pay close attention as the activity became more popular amongst eager fans. Just a few years later in 1951, Congress imposed a 10% mandatory tax on all Vegas-based sportsbooks, making it harder for playmakers in the industry to successful run their wagering businesses.
It wasn’t until a little less than two decades later in 1974 when this number was reinstated at a lowered amount of only 2%, as lawmakers decided that a reduction in tax costs could benefit Nevada more than harm it. This decision was undoubtedly the right one, as it quickly led to an increase in licensed sportsbooks which meant an increase in revenue for the state.
These sports wagering sites then began to spread into casinos, with the very first opened by then professional sports bettor and business executive, Frank Rosenthal, who started it in 1975 in his own casino gaming complex known as Stardust Casino.
The only other potential bump in the road for the sports betting market in Las Vegas came in 1992 when Congress passed the Sports Protection Act or PASPA which overturned the legalization around betting throughout the U.S. However, Nevada jumped through the hoops on that one because they were already “grandfathered” in with their own regulations on the activity.
The Growth of Modern Sportsbooks and the Digital Era
Fast forward to today and it is not uncommon to take a stroll down the Strip to visit one of many casino-based sportsbooks. Aside from being home to a multitude of these physical structures which maintain their robust presence in Sin City and Nevada as a whole, the digital era has also opened doors for the possibility of online wagering in the state. Not surprisingly, Nevada was one of the first states to legalize sports betting from desktop and mobile devices. I’ve been using BetMGM on my phone for a few years now.
Nowadays, dozens of providers offer their services to fans for a variety of sports, as the market continues to mature and grow its target audience. Each year sees different deals for users such as free bet no deposit offers 2021 which connect customers to bonus codes and promotions in U.S. regions where the activity is fully regulated, such as Nevada.
Here, sports betting is accepted and recognized as a widely popular activity that involves a certain amount of skill and aptitude to succeed in it.
What Does the Future Hold?
Although online sports betting was legalized in Nevada early on, there are still a handful of U.S. states who have not approved its regulation. Some of these include the Silver State’s neighbor, Utah, and others such as Texas, Oklahoma, Missouri, and Kansas.
In many locations, states have attempted to pass bills that would overthrow the inability to legally wager, but time can only tell if they will progress further.
As far as Las Vegas is concerned, the future is bright for the overall climate of the business both in-person and online. Just this past year the Raiders NFL franchise moved to the city after saying goodbye to their home in Oakland where they were based for over two decades.
This transfer means that football fans have another major team closer to home, adding to the list of professional sports organizations inside the Vegas metropolitan area that already includes NHL’s Golden Knights and WNBA’s Aces.
Not to mention that the Entertainment Capital of the World boasts everything from upscale dining options to guided museum tours and off-strip nature destinations like Red Rock Canyon. For sports fans and tourists in general, it is impossible not to fall in love with this ever-evolving, electric and glamorous city.