For instance, one of the bills introduced this week, the sports betting bill in Illinois, makes some rather astonishing claims.
The legislation introduced by Sen. Don Harmon reads in part:
There are estimates that Americans spend $400,000,000,000 (that’s $400 billion) annually on illegal sports betting.
Industry experts estimate that a licensed sports betting market in the United States will have revenues of between $175,000,000,000 and $225,000,000,000 (that’s not a misprint, that’s billions again) annually.
The first statement is what I would call wishful thinking. The $400 billion number has been around for a while. But every serious analyst finds that estimate overblown.
To put it into perspective, in order to reach $400 billion in handle every man, woman, child, and licensed dog (there’s about 70 million of them) would have to wager about $1,000 a year on sports.
As out of touch as the handle number is, it pales in comparison to the 12-figure revenue projections.
The notion that $400b in handle would translate into $175b-$225b in revenue is Lieutenant Frank Drebin–level absurdity. Nevadasports books revenue is typically about five percent of total handle. The projections in the Illinois bill would necessitate revenue that is 50 percent of handle.