You Don’t Have To Gamble To Profit From An Increase In Sports Betting

Photo by Naser Tamimi on Unsplash

Think you’ve got the perfect bracket? The NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament starts soon. As a former college basketball athlete myself, I know I’ll be tuning in to watch the games. And I won’t be alone.

One of America’s favorite traditions is trying to predict who will win every college basketball matchup in “March Madness.” Getting it right could earn you millions. Every year, gambling sites offer eye-popping prizes to anyone who can correctly call all 63 games. But chances are no one will ever win.

If you flipped a coin or guessed for every matchup, the odds of coming up with the perfect bracket are 1 in 9,223,372,036,854,775,808. That’s 9.2 quintillion. To help visualize those odds, scientists at the University of Hawaii estimate there are just 7.5 quintillion grains of sand on Earth.

But let’s say you know a thing or two about basketball. The best computer models can predict games about 75% of the time. That improves your odds to about 1 in 10 billion.

That’s still ridiculously low. You could win the Powerball lottery jackpot 34 times before you got the perfect bracket.

It all seems like harmless fun. But gambling companies are betting that contests like these will get enthusiasts to gamble more often and place higher bets. And the numbers show that it’s working.

We don’t believe in gambling away our hard-earned money. Instead, we’re focused on finding the safest income investments on the market. We want to have the best chances of securing lifelong financial freedom.

Today, I’ll show you how gambling is becoming a growing trend for many Americans. And I'll give you one way to profit without playing the odds. Instead, the investment I’ll share lets you bet on the house -- Because the house always wins.


Growing Betting Trends

According to the American Gaming Association, bettors wagered $23.1 billion on the Super Bowl earlier this year. 1 out of 4 American adults bet something on the big game. The number of people betting and the money on the line both increased by more than 40% compared to last year. And the numbers are expected to keep growing.

The Supreme Court struck down a federal ban on sports betting in 2018. Since then, 37 states and Washington, D.C., have legalized sports betting. A few have also legalized iGaming – online casino games.

Gambling taxes have become an important source of revenue for many states. According to the U.S. Census, taxes from sports betting generated $506 million for states in the third quarter of 2023. That’s 20.5% higher than over the same period the previous year.

Growing availability and popularity has led to more and more Americans spending money on games of chance. And one group is profiting more than any other. In the past five years, commercial gaming revenue – that’s the money casinos keep after paying out winning bets – has increased by 59%.

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A lot of that increase is due to more Americans betting on sports. And for many, sports betting leads to more interest in casino gambling.

The American Gaming Association reports 41% of American adults visited a casino in the past year. And the average age of visitors has dropped by eight years since 2019. That means more young Americans are going to casinos, even though there are plenty of online gambling options.

Sports betting is still not legal in several major states like Texas and California. But if that changes in the future, even more people may become interested in gambling and add to the growing pile of money coming into the space.


You Don’t Have to Gamble to Profit

So with March Madness coming up and people starting to line up their brackets, how can you profit from this gambling trend? As promised, there’s a way to position yourself for profits without placing a single bet. And that’s through one of my favorite investments, Vici Properties (VICI).

Vici is a real estate investment trust (REIT) that owns 54 casino properties across North America. Its portfolio includes trophy assets on the Las Vegas strip like the MGM Grand, Caesars Palace, The Venetian, Mandalay Bay, and Luxor. It also owns hotel and casino resorts in New York, New Jersey, Maryland, and more.

Vici doesn’t run the casinos. It simply owns the real estate and collects rent. So as more Americans visit casinos, Vici gets a reliable stream of income. Its contracts with casino companies last an average of 42 years. And the rent it collects each year increases with inflation.

Even when gaming revenues dropped by 30% during the pandemic, Vici still collected all its rent. And since Vici is a REIT, it’s required by law to pay 90% of its taxable income to its shareholders through dividends.

Vici shares yield 5.7% and trade at 13x adjusted funds from operations (AFFO). AFFO is a financial metric that tells shareholders how much cash flow a REIT has available for dividends. Vici usually trades at an average of 16x AFFO. So at recent levels, it represents a 19% discount.

Vici is a company that has proven it can reward shareholders in all market environments. And rather than pin your hopes on near-impossible odds, it lets you bet on the house and earn reliable income.


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Brad Thomas is the Editor of the Forbes Real Estate Investor.

Disclaimer: This article is intended to provide information to interested parties. ...

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