The economic benefits of sports betting are still debated by economists, with 10 in Ohio stating it would be beneficial, while four are more skeptical, predicting the costs would outweigh the benefits. Last month, a survey by Scioto Analysis found that a majority of respondents voted against the idea of taxpayer-funded stadiums. That’s a major setback for sports betting advocates. But, the question remains: Can legalized sports betting bring more jobs to America?
In the United States, legalized sports betting could generate nearly $8 billion in local taxes, create hundreds of thousands of jobs, and contribute $22.4 billion to the gross domestic product. The American Gaming Association estimated that legalized sports betting would generate over $7 billion in direct and indirect labor, which would benefit 80,000 Florida residents. The study also estimated that legalized sports betting would support approximately 216,671 jobs, supporting an estimated $11.0 billion in total labor income.
Legalized sports betting also boosts interest in the game. For example, a 17-10 Browns-Jaguars game will draw millions of viewers. However, most of those people are betting on the Jaguars’ victory and not just for the “color rush” factor. The fact is, they are watching the game to win money, not because they enjoy Blake Bortles. And if that’s the case, why not take advantage of the economic benefits of sports betting?