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In Pennsylvania, it's been 26 years since the last legal bet was placed on a game, play, or point spread.
That is, until two weeks ago.
On Nov. 15, a local resident walked into the Hollywood Casino at Penn National near Harrisburg and put $20 on the Pittsburgh Steelers to win the 2018 Super Bowl.
Of course, it's too early to tell how his bet will fare.
But it's not too early to see the excitement surrounding the newest addition to casinos.
You see, this isn't the pen-and-paper operation at the corner candy store where your father used to place his bets. Gamblers log their bets at high-tech kiosks without ever talking to a person, saving time and minimizing mistakes.
There are additional kiosks where patrons can customize their screens so they're only watching the games they choose. The screen shows in-play odds, and wagers can be placed directly onto the screen.
Three more Pennsylvania casinos are preparing to open their sportsbooks in the next few weeks.
Fact is, it's never been easier to bet on sports.
You see, in May, the Supreme Court backed the state of New Jersey's bid to legalize sports gambling by overturning a 1992 federal law that had prohibited states – besides Nevada – from legalizing sports gambling.
Now, it's up to individual states whether to legalize sports betting.
Since the Supreme Court ruling, seven states have legalized sports betting – and at least 14 more states are considering legalization.
Two weeks following Pennsylvania's big move, Rhode Island opened its first legal sportsbook at Twin River Casino – making it the last of the initial seven legalized states to go "live" with sports gambling.
In the next six months, Rhode Island could be looking at $11.6 million in new revenue from sports betting – and Pennsylvania is looking at considerably more than that.
Legal sports betting has many fans excited. Before the federal ban was lifted, many placed their bets on shady, slow-to-pay websites. On top of that, the check usually came from an offshore company – an obvious red flag at the bank.
Now, sports betters won't have to worry about the concerns that come with illegal gambling.
Maybe you're not ready to put money on your favorite football team or wager on who will score the first points in March Madness – but you're an investor who wants a way in on this brand-new industry. We're talking about a months-old sector that has the potential to skyrocket from $4 billion to $6 billion all the way to $400 billion in the next few years (the current size of the illegal U.S. sports betting market).
Well, if you play this new industry our way, you'll find it hard to lose.
About the Author
Michael A. Robinson is one of the top financial analysts working today. His book "Overdrawn: The Bailout of American Savings" was a prescient look at the anatomy of the nation's S&L crisis, long before the word "bailout" became part of our daily lexicon. He's a Pulitzer Prize-nominated writer and reporter, lauded by the Columbia Journalism Review for his aggressive style. His 30-year track record as a leading tech analyst has garnered him rave reviews, too. Today he is the editor of the monthly tech investing newsletter Nova-X Report as well as Radical Technology Profits, where he covers truly radical technologies – ones that have the power to sweep across the globe and change the very fabric of our lives – and profit opportunities they give rise to. He also explores "what's next" in the tech investing world at Strategic Tech Investor.