Who is going to dominate the US sport betting market?
Legalisation of sports betting will inevitably open up the market for new entrants seeking to dominate quickly
In the US, betting on sports was for the most part, officially illegal in most states.
This is because the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) stopped the spread of sports betting beyond the states that had already legislated for it.
One of those states is Nevada, where sports betting formed part of their casinos since the 1970s and had the recreational activity more or less legalised.
However, with PASPA being recently struck down in a ruling in 2018, there is now a real potential of bringing sports betting out into the open along with all the regulations, taxes and fierce competition that accompany it.
One senator, originally responsible for the drafting of the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act, has vowed to bring forward sport betting regulations before he retires.
According to Senator Orrin Hatch, the US would require “a set of fundamental, federal standards that will protect the integrity of the games, that will protect consumers and the sports wagering market”.
Nevada Gaming Control Board reported a record $4.8 billion on its sports books in 2017, with profits of $248.7 million. These numbers only reflect legal bets made.
Just like the prohibition of alcohol in America led to a booming illicit market, the same is true with sports betting where the illicit and/or offshore market reportedly brings in between $50 – $60 billion annually.
Legalisation will inevitably open up the market for new entrants seeking to dominate quickly. With a market bringing in this much money the question is who will be the top contenders in this market.
MGM resort and Isle of Man based GVC holdings recently announced a joint venture, with a plan to dominate the sport betting market. Their plan is to create a sports betting and online gaming platform in time for the NFL football season.
While GVC is a large, established and dynamic sports betting operator with a solid reputation; MGM is a leader in key markets across the US, with the business expertise necessary for total market domination.
Without a doubt the joint $200 million dollar venture has a very promising future. Importantly, during MGM 2nd quarter announcement a historic deal was made with the NBA, which is the first partnership between a sports book and a US sports league. The partnership will give MGM access to the NBA’s data stream for the purpose of setting wagers, which will improve the platform tremendously.
Another big factor will be the entry of International sports betting companies, who have been preparing for this epic eventuality in the States for years. British based companies have had many years to perfect their business models and know how to operate at a large scale, which will work in their favour given the recent MGM/GVC partnership.
Thus setting up the stage for an interesting showdown to see how will come out on top of this lucrative and highly competitive industry.