Mobile Apps Could Help Legalize Sports Betting in All 50 States

The rising number of Las Vegas casinos offering mobile sports betting apps could eventually lead to legalization across the United States if a recently submitted proposal to the Nevada Gaming Commission ends up amending the state’s gambling regulations.

CG Technology, formerly known as Cantor Gaming, is trying to allow bettors in every state to be allowed to set up and fund their mobile sports betting accounts. The gaming technology company submitted paperwork to the commission back in February in an effort to make that possibility a reality, although it is still a longshot at this point.

Currently, bettors need to set up and fund accounts in person at the casino’s sportsbook. They also need be located within the Nevada state border to place wagers based on GPS tracking for their mobile device. The revised law would still require bettors to initially sign up at the sportsbook but then allow them to reload their accounts from outside the state.

While wagering on single game sports events would not yet be allowed from anywhere beyond Nevada, this amendment could pave the way for that to happen in the near future. Nevada, Oregon, Delaware and Montana are the only four states in the U.S. where there is some form of legalized sports betting.

All mobile sportsbook apps require GPS tracking because bettors need to be inside the Nevada border to make wagers. If that changes, legalization of sports betting throughout the U.S. could be right around the corner too.

Licensed sportsbooks could work with the federal and/or state government to log betting activity and ensure taxes are paid on winnings. The more legitimate sources of sports betting there are, the more the government might be open to allowing it and regulating it on a nationwide scale.

The growth of phone-based apps through Android and iPhone operating systems offered by casinos over the past year has changed the landscape of sports betting in Nevada. Some of the biggest sportsbooks, including the Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook, have entered the mobile space in hopes of generating even more action from bettors who now do not need to place their wagers solely at the window.

The SuperBook, known mainly for the world-famous SuperContest pro football handicapping contest and its numerous prop options, launched its app just before Super Bowl 50. But to be able to view sportsbooks offerings there, bettors need to enable GPS on their phones and disable Bluetooth and WiFi in order for the signal to be tracked properly.

Other major sportsbooks like The Wynn Las Vegas have since followed suit, releasing its sports betting app shortly after the SuperBook in February. According to Eilers and Krejcik Gaming, a research firm based in California, 29 percent of Nevada’s sports wagering handle came from mobile betting in 2015.

William Hill is another big player in the market with one of the first mobile sports betting apps to compliment the chain’s more than 100 full-service sportsbooks and kiosks located within the state of Nevada. William Hill is one of a few that offer sign-up bonuses to entice bettors to use their app.