Legal sports betting outside Nevada became legal after the Supreme Court struck down the federal Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act in May 2018.
That same year, legalized sports betting began in Delaware, New Jersey, Mississippi, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, New Mexico, and Rhode Island.
Louisiana, Connecticut, Maryland, Massachusetts, Missouri, California, South Carolina, Iowa, Illinois, Kansas, Kentucky, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Oklahoma, Ohio, and New York are among the States that have also started the process of legalizing sports betting.
In terms of rugby, the USA has national 15-player and 7s men’s and women’s teams. Similar to soccer, the women’s 15s team has been historically more successful than its male counterpart, winning the inaugural women’s World Cup in 1991, and finishing second in the following two tournaments. To date, the men’s side has not progressed beyond the pool stage of the seven tournaments in which it has competed.
The men’s 15-player side qualified for the 2019 World Cup in Japan, where it is in Pool C – alongside England, France, Argentina and Tonga.
The USA men’s international 7s side has enjoyed more success. In 2019 it was ranked the world’s top international 7s side in the Sevens World Series. The women’s 7s outfit is one of the “core teams” that compete in all rounds of the Women’s Sevens World Series.
Professional rugby has been slow to take off in America. A PRO Rugby league involving five teams was formed in 2016, some 21 years after the game turned professional elsewhere. But it lasted just one season.
Major League Rugby kicked off in 2018, with seven teams – Austin Elite, Glendale Raptors, Houston SaberCats, New Orleans Gold, San Diego Legion, Seattle Seawolves and Utah Warriors.
Seattle Seawolves won the inaugural league, beating Glendale Raptors 23-19 in a play-off final.
The league expanded to nine teams in 2019 – with Rugby United New York and Toronto Arrows joining the inguaral season’s seven sides.
Boston-based New England Free Jacks, Washington’s Old Glory DC, and Rugby ATL from Atlanta were set to make-up a 12-team league from 2020.