What Americans Really Think About Sports Betting

I’ve come to think that Venmo, PayPal and the like might very well go out of business were it not for the annual three-week gambling festival known as the N.C.A.A. Division I men’s basketball tournament (estimated wagers this year: more than $10 billion).

But maybe that’s just me, what with the many bracket pools I’m invited to join every spring and the associated entry fees I’m asked to payment-app-as-verb to various gambling enablers — I mean pool organizers — around the country.

My particular challenges aside, this year’s iteration of March Madness and the Final Four is yet another reminder of America’s long-simmering and complex relationship with sports betting.

The United States Supreme Court, in a case to be decided in the next few months, is expected to rule in favor of the State of New Jersey and overturn a ban on non-internet sports betting in all but four states (Delaware, Montana, Nevada and Oregon). According to a recent report from Eilers & Krejcik Gaming, at least 18 state legislatures are preparing bills to legalize and regulate sports gambling.

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