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Sports Betting in Nevada

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The Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992 made it illegal to bet on sports in the United States except in states where it was already legal when the bill was passed. States were given an additional year from the date PAPSA was passed to legalize sports betting to be exempt from the new law. While no new states came forward to legalize sports betting, it was already legal in four states; Delaware, Montana, Oregon and Nevada. Those four states can legally offer sports betting, but Oregon elected to do away with its Sports Action lottery game in exchange for the NCAA to hold basketball tournament games there, which brings more revenue that the lottery game. Montana and Delaware offer various football parlay cards, while Nevada is the only state that offers full-scale legalized sports betting.

While it is heavily regulated and monitored in order to ensure fairness and prevent betting irregularities, anyone can go into a sportsbook in Nevada and wager.  There are more than 190 different sportsbooks operating in the state of Nevada. According to some estimates, more than $3 billion is wagered at sportsbooks in Nevada each year, with casinos making a profit of $100 million or more each year. Although sportsbooks are not the most profitable betting attraction for casinos, they are a draw that can bring in gamblers who also might spend their money on food, drinks or betting on table games and slot machines. A casino does not want to risk the possibility that a large blackjack player will go to another casino that has a sportsbook.

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Why are sportsbooks such big draws? Sportsbooks are essentially a slice of heaven for hardcore sports fans. Anyone who walks into a sportsbook can watch dozens of games being broadcast on TVs throughout the area. In addition, there is a tangible sense of excitement to be with a group of fans who have action on a big game. It’s almost as exciting as being at the game itself and in some cases even more exciting. It’s little wonder why Las Vegas is a premier destination for sports fans during big events such as March Madness and the Super Bowl.

The fact that sports betting is legal in Nevada is one of the main reasons why there are no professional sports teams within the state. Professional sports teams are afraid that having a team in a city where sports gambling is legal would provide too much of an incentive for players to bet on games or for unsavory characters to attempt to bribe players to effect the outcome of games. Several leagues have looked at Las Vegas, although it now appears the National Hockey League may be the first to actually give it a shot. Hockey would make the most sense, as parlay betting is already legal in Canada and hockey betting is by far the least of the “four major” sports in Nevada.