In an op-ed that ran in the New York Times in 2014, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver wrote that legal sports betting is safer for everybody (including players), better for fans (“betting lines will be more competitive”), and good for sports leagues as well (“betting revenue will grow”). He may have been overstating his case, but he certainly didn’t overplay it.

A state-licensed bookmaker that offers a full menu of sports betting wagers.

In general, states are most interested in maximizing taxable revenues, and that has led to decisions about tax rates and which body is best equipped to regulate the industry. That doesn’t mean that other issues don’t come into play, such as how to protect integrity in games, whether to allow in-game bets and/or prop bets, and so forth.

As the number of legal sportsbooks grows, more and more bettors are choosing to place their wagers through a website or mobile app rather than visiting a brick-and-mortar establishment. That has helped increase online gambling traffic and boosted the overall popularity of sports betting, which is good news for both sportsbooks and the people who bet on them.

In early 2021, Arizona lawmakers passed a law to permit sports betting through their casinos and racetracks, and the state’s first retail and online sportsbooks launched in September of that year. Licensed casinos can contract with up to three brands for mobile/online sports betting, and FanDuel Sportsbook (in partnership with the Washington football team), BetMGM (The Greenbrier skin), DraftKings Sportsbook, PointsBet, William Hill, Unibet, and Bally Bet have all gone live in the state.