Last month, just ahead of our team’s attendance at the iGB Live! conference in Amsterdam, we had the opportunity to contribute an article to iGaming Business. In that piece, we explore how stakeholders in the US and European markets might work together in a post-PASPA era.
Equally important to market perception will be buy-in from major North American sports leagues as well as the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA). That buy-in seems inevitable, considering the NGCB’s reporting that Nevada sportsbooks accepted over $4.8 billion in wagers in 2017.
The NCAA, which previously launched the anti-sports wagering “Don’t Bet on It” campaign, will be subject to particularly close observation. Between the Men’s Division I Basketball Tournament (aka March Madness) and college football games that already average over 3 million viewers in the regular season, the potential wagering figures are considerable.
The importance of nurturing an image of transparency and honesty across all leagues is further emphasised by talk of integrity fees, which have controversially been pushed by the NBA and MLB, and the possibility of state gaming commissions demanding accurate player injury reports. European stakeholders will be valuable partners in terms of establishing this image through their expertise with responsible gaming initiatives and developing productive relationships with league executives to address fraud and underage gambling.
Technology will also play an increasingly important role in maintaining the integrity of sports and sports betting in the US. Geo-targeting, payment processing and data collection are showing to be among the most urgent focus areas in the context of regulated sports betting, giving both established and start-up solutions providers the opportunity to carve out a larger place for themselves in the market.
In May, immediately following the PASPA decision, the NCAA announced a 10-year data collection and distribution deal with London-based Genius Sports. That was followed by the June announcement that sports data company Sportradar had partnered with UK-based Sportech in a deal that will see the tandem provide commercial sports betting solutions to the US, including Sportradar’s trading and risk management services.
When considering the post-PASPA role of online and mobile gaming, exact timelines are uncertain due to legislative proceedings. However, once applicable legislation is passed, that role should prove considerable. This will open the door for savvy providers of front-end and back-end solutions to rise to prominence and/or further solidify their leadership position.
With Paddy Power Betfair reaching a deal to acquire FanDuel in May and DraftKings partnering with Atlantic City’s Resorts Casino in June – an announcement that was preceded by DraftKings hiring a head of sportsbook in February – the two DFS giants are guaranteed to have prominent roles in a regulated market. With regards to technology, each brand already successfully engages millions of Americans via its own mobile apps. And not only have DraftKings and FanDuel been committed to augmenting their respective core products – each also offers a companion app that facilitates player research and keeping up-to-date on league news.
These examples should be informative as individual states proceed with developing their own sports betting apps. While resulting products will likely be of varying quality, the cumulative insights from established European brands and US influencers with similar experience provide ample reason for optimism.
Based on these key focuses, patience and pragmatism will need to form the foundation for most US states, at least to start. To increase the potential for success, that practicality will need to be further supported by partnering with European brands that can provide an added level of expertise and insight on how to build an ecosystem in which sports betting can thrive.
Now that you’ve had a chance to read the full article, tell us what you think in the comments section below. If you’re interested in our multi-channel tracking and analytics affiliate software, please reach out to our Head of Business Development Sarah Robertson.