If you’re reading this, I assume you’re either a fan of sports betting or someone who works in the industry. Either way, you’ve probably heard of the Sports Betting Commission (SBC). The SBC was established in 2018 by the U.S. Congress to combat the growing influence of organized crime in sports betting and to provide some regulatory oversight to the industry.
While most know the SBC as a regulatory body, it actually does much more than that. The SBC’s primary goal is to establish a sustainable framework for the sports betting industry. To that end, the SBC provides guidelines for industry members on how to properly monitor and report results of sports wagers. It also recommends ways in which the industry can improve upon existing technologies and methods to remain competitive in a highly regulated market.
If you’re just entering the sports betting industry, it’s important to know what to expect. The good news is that you can start small and grow your business organically. The bad news is that you’re going to have to play by the rules – or at least appear to play by the rules. That’s a necessary evil in this industry. It’s also a good idea to establish a formal relationship with the SBC as soon as possible. This way you can begin to familiarize yourself with the regulatory framework and the various rules and regulations that govern the industry.
The SBC Is More Than Just A Regulating Body
It would be a mistake to assume that the SBC is just a regulatory body. The SBC was actually established to establish some modicum of regulatory oversight to the sports betting industry and to provide some guidelines for the industry on how to properly operate in a legal and transparent manner. This is made clear by the SBC’s website, which points out that the commission “does not conduct criminal investigations or prosecutions”. Rather, its “mission is to promote a fair, transparent, and lawful sports betting industry for the benefit of the American public.”
The SBC also takes its responsibilities seriously. One of its first actions was to establish a working group, made up of industry stakeholders, to establish and regularly review recommended practices for the industry. The SBC also holds regular meetings with sports agents, sports leagues, and other key stakeholders to ensure that they have adequate understanding of the regulations and to identify areas where they can help.
One of the areas where the SBC can provide real value is in terms of raising the public’s awareness about the existence of the sports betting industry and the role of sports in society. To that end, the SBC’s website and social media accounts are filled with educational materials for the general public, detailing the history of sports and the various ways in which the sports betting industry intersects with it. The commissions also produce various fact-finding reports that are filled with invaluable data about the state of the sports betting industry. For example, the SBC’s 2019 report details how the industry is policed, prosecuted, and regulated around the country.
A Free-Market-Based Regulated Sports Betting Market
The U.S. sports betting industry is a $12 billion-a-year market. With each state having its own individual licensing and regulatory framework, there are currently more than 500 legal sportsbooks in the country. If you want to start a business or want to expand your existing operations into a new area, the U.S. sports betting market is a good place to do business. In particular, Nevada and Pennsylvania have some of the more competitive sports betting environments in the country. If you live in one of these states, it’s well worth exploring the industry opportunities there. In fact, the odds are in your favor because there’s a lot of demand and not a lot of established competition in these states.
Unfortunately, the U.S. sports betting market is also a place that’s plagued by organized crime. The bookmakers often have close relationships with the sports teams and individual players. This creates an environment where money can easily flow and where corruption is commonplace. It also means that a lot of the funds that are bet on sporting events come from illegal sources and thus may be filled with fraud.
To combat the influence of organized crime in the sports betting industry and to provide some degree of regulatory oversight, the U.S. Congress passed the 2018 Sports Act. The Sports Act set the stage for the creation of the SBC. Under the terms of the act, the SBC is tasked with studying the issue of illegal activity in sports betting, specifically targeting ways in which it can combat organized crime and provide some measure of transparency to the industry. It also establishes the commission to “study gambling and wagering, including online betting, and study ways to give fans, participants, and the public greater confidence in and access to betting and wagering.”
One of the ways in which the SBC aspires to do this is by creating a free-market-based approach to regulating sports betting. In other words, rather than treating all sports betting operators equally, the SBC wants to establish a framework where qualified individuals and organizations can compete for the business. This is different from a monopole system where only one entity (the government, in this case) regulates the industry and all other participants must submit to its authority. As it stands, the U.S. sports betting market is heavily regulated with the majority of the action taking place in Nevada and New Jersey.
How The SBC Handles Sports Betting Investigations
To date, the SBC has only pursued 17 cases against organizations or individuals in the sports betting industry. These cases were either resolved through settlement or litigation, the latter including one where the organization was found to violate California’s state monopoly on gambling. The cases the SBC has pursued typically involve instances of fraud, forgery, and money laundering. The commission also enforces the Foreign Gaining Operations and Prevention Act, which was signed into law by President Trump in 2017 and makes it a criminal offense for any non-U.S. individual or organization to engage in fraudulent activity involving more than $10,000 in the U.S.
While these may seem like not-so-good news items, it should be noted that the SBC doesn’t conduct criminal investigations or prosecutions. Rather, it refers these cases to law enforcement agencies for prosecution. In other words, by prosecuting cases against the sports betting industry, the SBC is in essence acting as a legal defense fund for the industry. This is made clear by Section 951 of the U.S. Code, which specifically mentions that the commission “may… conduct such investigations and receive and examine such evidence as is necessary and proper for the exercise of its jurisdiction under this part.”
As already mentioned, the SBC is responsible for studying and reporting on the issues surrounding gambling and wagering. One of the most comprehensive and authoritative reports the SBC creates is its annual review of the sports betting industry. Each year, the SBC surveys operators, reviews gaming software and hardware, and examines financial statements from top to bottom. This allows it to assemble a detailed view of the industry’s performance in a given year. For example, in 2019, the SBC reviewed more than 160 licensed sportsbooks and created a database of over 1.7 million bets. In some cases, the SBC also tracks and compiles data on illegal activity in the sports betting industry.
The SBC’s annual review of the sports betting industry is a must-read for anyone interested in playing or investing in the industry. It provides a clear picture of what is going on in the market, the various issues faced by operators, and the various ways in which the SBC can help. This year’s review is no exception and is chock full of useful information for anyone trying to navigate the ins and outs of the sports betting industry. Some of the highlights from this year’s review include:
How The Sports Betting Industry Varies By State
Nevada and Pennsylvania are the only two states where sports betting is legal and regulated by the state. All other states regulate or prohibit gambling, including wagering, on sporting events.
Nevada is home to some of the biggest and most prominent sports betting operators in the world. This is due, in large part, to the fact that the state allows for legal gambling and sports betting in general. In 2019, Nevada legal sportsbooks handled a record $5.7 billion in bets. This is in addition to the state’s legal gambling revenue of more than $6.8 billion. If you’re looking to get into the sports betting business in Nevada, you’d better do so soon. The state is expected to draw more business than ever this year.
Pennsylvania is another state where sports betting is legal and regulated. In fact, most of the money that is wagered in Pennsylvania comes from overseas, with the state earning more than $1 billion annually from offshore wagering. Pennsylvania also offers some of the best college and professional sports in the nation, making it a popular state for sports betting.