What comes to mind when you think about sports betting? /Diana Taurasi /PHOENIX MERCURY
A dark room smelling of cigars? Railbirds at a horse track? A man with his hat pulled low over his brow in a casino just off the highway?
That’s the traditional view of sports betting. Since it became legal in the United States in 2018 – and with it apps, websites and booths at sporting events – it doesn’t look that way anymore. That could be good news for women’s sports, as some observers say greater gambling accessibility could translate to increased interest and fandom.
“One solution to drive viewership for women’s sports would be adding gambling,” said Lindsey Darvin, an assistant professor at the State University of New York at Cortland, who studies diversity and gender equity in sports. “Allowing folks to really get engaged in the same way that they’re doing on the men’s side, but for women’s sports because you don’t necessarily have to be a fan of a specific team, a specific athlete, a specific sports league,” Darvin said.
The landscape of sports gambling continues to shift.