The year 2019 has been something of a milestone in the sports gaming industry. The United States Supreme Court decision that freed the country from national-level restrictions have represented a revolution in the industry. As the practice expands outward from Nevada and New Jersey into areas of new legalization, new opportunities will continue to emerge.
Although major casinos were the first to take advantage, local internet gambling cafes, online operations, and others, will see a great number of opportunities developing going forward.
This also reflects increasing national acceptance of sports betting. The days of the practice being a shady activity run by criminal elements passed away with the last century. Nearly two thirds of Americans today approve of legal sports gaming.
We will also likely see a number of these trends continue through the rest of the year and into 2020.
Sports Wagering in Casinos, Internet Gambling Cafes, and Online Growing Expanded Faster Than Expected, But More Potential Exists
Between June 2019 and July 2019, sports betting generated $10 billion in the seven states in which it has seen legalization. This number represented the total amount of money placed in bets. Almost 85 percent of revenue nationally stays in the hands of licensees.
Much potential exists for growth in the states that have legalized sports gaming. Some states that chose to legalize have seen slow growth as the bureaucracies have taken time to adjust and potential operators have shown caution in deciding whether or not to take on the responsibility. In West Virginia, for example, one of the first states to legalize, first year revenues were $4 million short of expectations.
As West Virginia state delegate Paul Espinosa, whose district includes the massive Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races, told NBC Washington recently, “We never really anticipated that it would be a windfall; [it’s] more of an amenity for our casinos.”
As the public perception of the industry continues to improve, however, the state expects to see more revenues generated, more quickly. This should be the case in other states as well, leading to higher earnings overall going forward.
Participation of Women Will Continue to Increase
In recent years, we have seen a rise in in the number of women interested in sports gaming. This demographic are proving to have different tastes in terms of where and how they wager, when compared to their male counterparts.
Women in general still tend not to be so accepting of sports gambling -- 51 percent of woman approve of the practise compared to 69 percent of men -- but the number of women participants is growing.
Research indicates that women show an initial hesitation towards gambling in public places. They prefer to make wagers in private home settings.
This could be a temporary barrier for businesses to overcome. As more women grow comfortable and participate, casinos and clubs that offer gambling can aim their marketing efforts, facility design, and amenities, at an increasingly female audience.
Cash Alternatives Will Emerge in US Betting
We have noticed that many sports wagering outlets have turned to cash alternatives for safer wagering.
Sports gaming will follow the video game world in expanded use of virtual currency. Players exchange real money for online tokens that can then be used within the system to place wagers. Winnings are paid in the same virtual currency which can be used to place other bets or to take advantage of amenities. The player can also redeem this currency for cash.
This ensures that the player is better protected against fraud. It also keeps money "in the system" more effectively, which makes it more likely to benefit the owner-operator of the gaming facility in the future.
Increased Effectiveness of Digital Marketing
As in other fields, sports gaming has embraced digital marketing techniques. Television, radio, print, and other traditional forms of advertising have diminishing returns in the digital age, with newer and more exciting forms instead starting to make their presence felt.
We have seen that digital marketing offers more opportunities to attract customers compared with traditional efforts, and allows for interactive engagement and powerful impact. Innovation in marketing strategies and tactics will continue to develop, especially as owner-operators gather more data on their current and potential customers bases. This will enable more targeted and effective marketing in the near future.