Sports gambling opportunities for marketers

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  • While US sports leagues and tournaments continue to operate normally, the sports video business has mostly returned to pre-pandemic levels.
  • And sports gambling, which is now legal in nearly half of the US, is emerging as a market opportunity for brands and publishers alike.

The legalization of sports gambling in more than 20 US states has opened up new business opportunities and potential pitfalls for broadcasters and publishers.


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services that attempt to combine betting content such as fantasy leagues with live streams, or at least market them separately to viewers of sports watching and gambling.

Graph showing the increase in sports betting revenues

Legalized sports gambling in the US will generate $2.1 billion in revenue this year.

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The American Gaming Association (AGA) maintains a running tab of the US states where sports gambling is legal, as well as states where betting is legal but not yet live. It also counts states with active sports gambling legislation as well as those without legislation or dead legislation. As of May 2021, sports gambling was legal and active in 21 states and the District of Columbia. Six more states had legalized betting, but did not yet have live services, and 14 other states already had active legislation to legalize it. At that time, only 9 US states had either no laws or repealed laws.

A study by research and brokerage firm Gabelli Securities and the U.S. Census Bureau estimates that legalized sports gambling in the U.S. will generate revenues of $2.1 billion this year and forecast growth of $10.1 billion by 2028.

Other companies are projecting even higher revenues from legalized sports betting in the US; Morgan Stanley forecasts a market size of $15 billion by 2025 and Macquarie Research estimates $30 billion by 2030. Additionally, MGM Resorts International estimates that sports gambling will generate $13.5 billion. By 2025, 38 US states are joining by then.

Despite the inconsistency in these estimates, which may be due to differences in methodology, it is the fact that gambling will create significant new revenues for sports rights holders, as well as opportunities to integrate this content with traditional broadcasts and streams.

To that end, in March 2021 satellite TV and vMVPD provider Dish Network and gambling app DraftKings announced an agreement to incorporate DraftKings content into live sports games. Under the deal, Dish customers who are Hopper buyers can use the DraftKings app to initiate bets and then view the corresponding live games on their TV. The deal also includes fantasy league content. Prior to the announcement, DraftKings ran two 15-second commercials during the Super Bowl.

Another early entry into the US sports gambling business is fuboTV, a sports-focused vMVPD. According to David Gandler, the company’s co-founder and CEO, the company has market access licenses pending regulatory approval in New Jersey, Indiana, and Iowa, and is in advanced talks with other states.

“Video and betting are adjacent businesses and business models that work well with each other that use the same demographic,” he said. “We did a survey of users on our platform and found that 20% of fuboTV viewers bet regularly and 22% are willing to bet on fuboTV for a seamless experience. Play.”

Jason Wiese, senior vice president and director of strategic insights at Vab (formerly the Video Advertising Bureau), is also a sports gambling enthusiast. “I’m personally very excited about legalized sports gambling. It’s another way to engage fans and persuade young adults to join sports franchises. In our research, we found that adults ages 25 to 34 are 26% more likely to gamble if they gamble within sports. Watch more sports.”

In another sign of the momentum of sports gambling in the US, 19 regional sports networks owned by the Sinclair Broadcast Group have been renamed Bally’s in an agreement between the broadcaster and casino operator.

Despite these attempts, some experts are wary of the link between sports and gambling.

“Gambling is a sensitive issue for brands and advertisers in general,” said JoAnna Foyle, senior vice president of inventory partnerships at The Trade Desk. “Whatever the legality, that’s typically not where some of the more conservative brands want to be. That doesn’t mean there won’t be engagement or the gamble won’t attract more advertisers, but at least with the biggest brands, there are question marks.”

In late 2020, the AGA sought to avoid brand safety and other concerns by establishing a compliance review board to enforce the association’s Responsible Marketing for Sports Betting Act. The project was partly inspired by the experiences of European countries with sports betting; In some cases, countries have implemented advertising restrictions in response to complaints about advertising served to minors or other inappropriate uses of gambling-related marketing.

It’s too early to gauge how the convergence of gambling and sports will play out in the US, but early indications point to a lucrative market with potential pitfalls, unlike social media companies that have to balance their financial success with compliance concerns. depends on their content and marketing practices.

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This article was originally published at: eMarketing.

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