Sports betting has been illegal in the United States since 1992. Although some states were exempt from this ban, only Nevada was allowed to offer full-scale services up until now. The Supreme Court ruled in May in favor of lifting the federal ban. This does not necessarily mean that businesses will be allowed to set up sports betting services just yet. It is now up to the states to come up with the relevant regulations. Some critics say that the change will impact sports negatively, while others believe that there are some benefits to be had.
MMA is especially attractive for gamblers for several reasons. First of all, it is a one-on-one sport, which means that fans can simply choose a favorite and bet accordingly. In other sports, lots of factors have to be taken into consideration when making a decision. It is also the case that there are oftentimes underdogs who gain a lot of following after winning a few fights. Fans of such athletes are especially adamant to bet on their success. A positive aspect of allowing sports betting is enhanced user experience. Although there is some extreme behavior to consider, like addictions, for most fans betting on their favorites will be another way to add enjoyment to the games.
A negative consequence of the end of the US ban on sports betting that many critics emphasize is fight-fixing. There are a lot of stories and doubts about athletes accepting money to throw a match on purpose or to affect the outcome of the game in any other way. For one-on-one fights, this problem is especially relevant as it is easier for one athlete to coordinate these processes without the need to trust or employ teammates. The salaries of MMA fighters are relatively low compared to other sports as well, so there could be more incentive for the athletes to accept illegal money. One argument against the case is that throwing a fight is more costly in MMA than losing one match in other sports. Even a very successful MMA career can span only 40 fights, which means that losing one could put fighters reputation and future prospects at risk.
There is also one thing to consider. Sports fans in the United States have always been able to wager money on their favorite teams and athletes through offshore sportsbooks. With the legalization of sports betting, the process will simply become regulated.