Over the years, sports betting has become one of people’s biggest hobbies as a possible source of partial income. In the United States, the industry made over 10.9 billion dollars in revenue in 2023, the highest it has ever been. Marking almost six years since the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) was passed, the act legalized entire sports betting, leading to a massive rise and benefits for the industry. With sports betting being an international phenomenon, various companies are merging worldwide to create a more extensive, robust network for people to watch sporting events.

Internationally, football is the world’s leading sport, where people bet on specific teams the most, with basketball and American football being the most prominent sports the U.S. bets on. With the new age of betting being available in front of the screens on our phones, comes new opportunities- but also various problems.

The growth of online sports betting in various countries has led places such as the United Kingdom to generate worldwide revenue for the longest time. Their adaption towards sports is one of the biggest, with 45% of active bettors focusing on football, specifically the Premier League and Champions League. The future of the UK’s betting industry is speculated to have frequent changes in how they manage their age verification methods and online presence popularity. We are also seeing countries such as Argentina approve online betting under the Santa Fe Province law. The growth in online betting can be visible in this country through the Argentinian Football Association’s recent partnership with VBET as they plan to expand on their leadership in football for the European continent, according to President of the AFA Claudio Tapia. 

In terms of further expansion and partnerships, BetMGM has been one of the established companies for sports betting in the US and Canada. They have expanded their brand internationally by starting with the UK, whose market is the most dependent. With their business skyrocketing, BetMGM predicts their revenue to be around $1.9 billion for their 2023 fiscal year.

ESPN has also been on the radar, as it entered the online betting industry by signing a 10-year deal with Penn Entertainment. This $1.5 billion deal has led to ESPN’s new opportunities, such as rebranding Barstool Sportsbook, but most importantly, launching their new website and app, ESPN Bet. As ESPN is one of the most well-known sports channels in the world, it has taken the chance to break into the sports betting market by following growing demand.

However, the popularity of the market comes with problems for consumers. Rosa Li reports from the University of North Carolina that gambling addiction has increased in young adults as an increasing number of states legalize sports betting. This also aligns with how accessible online sports betting is nowadays, leading the demographics of gamblers to become younger and younger. In terms of statistics, experts are seeing a staggering 38% increase in Ohio’s gambling helpline in 2023 compared to October of 2022.   

Through the lens of the business and the consumer world of online sports betting, we can see its impact on the economy. The future of the market will soon be told through the youth’s perspective on the movement of technological advancements and the plans for how sports betting businesses will run under the law.

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