Analysis

Analysis: Another 12 states could regulate sports betting in 2021

Regulated sports betting could see a huge expansion in the number of states opening up in 2021 according to analysts at Morgan Stanley.

The sense of momentum behind regulated sports betting could be further enhanced by a potential dozen more states opening up this year.

That is the opinion of the gaming analyst team at Morgan Stanley led by Thomas Allen. 

In a sector note, Allen suggests 12 states will “aggressively push” for regulated sports betting this year.

The full list of states is as follows:

Arizona, Connecticut, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Maryland, Montana, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Dakota and Texas.

Deep in the heart

Many of these states are already far down the track towards having legislation enacted. 

Maryland, Louisiana and South Dakota, for instance, have voted in favor of sports-betting in the November elections.

Were all of these states to open up as Morgan Stanley predicts it would clearly transform the Wedge Index of the gaming friendliness of states.

Bu the biggest change would be if the last state on the list, Texas, were to join the sports-betting gold rush.

Texas is tied at a lowly 41 in the Wedge Index. But were the Lone Star state to make a move towards sports-betting 2021 as a banner year.

As one of the big four states and one where if legislation were to happen it would spark an almighty wave of interest. It is the second-largest state by population.

Analysts were quick to note that the news on Texas was notable due to the long-standing opposition at legislative level in any firms of state gambling.

However, recent news has suggested that there is draft legislation in the works and that it has some impressive backers. 

Lining up in favor are the owners of the Dallas Cowboys, Dallas Mavericks, and Houston Rockets.

Filling a gap

Will Hershey, founder of specialist EF provider RoundHill Investments, said the moves towards further state opening demonstrates the “continued regulatory momentum”. 

He added the state budget deficits partly caused by the pandemic and the closure of land-based gaming venues “have added fuel to the fire.”

The Morgan Stanley team are so enthused about more states to opening up faster than forecasts that they have revisited their spreadsheets. 

They now predict the total addressable market by 2025 to be $15bn, 27% up from their previous estimate.

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Scott Longley

Scott Longley has been a journalist since the early noughties covering personal finance, sport and the gambling industry. He has worked for a number of publications including Investor's Week, Bloomberg Money, Football First, EGR and GamblingCompliance.com. He now writes for online and print titles across a wide range of sectors.

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