US Sports Betting Report
This Spring, sports around the world suddenly disappeared from stadiums and screens alike. Aside from a handful of soccer leagues in countries like Uruguay and Belarus, pretty much every sports league was canceled or postponed, including the Summer Olympics – This is something unseen since World War II.
As you might expect, the disappearance of their raison d’être has had a serious negative effect on the budding sports betting market in the US.
A Dark Spring
Sports betting, either online or in-person, is currently regulated in 12 states, with two more pending launch as we speak. Unlike the casino industry that relies almost exclusively on in-person players, sports betting has become available online as well in most states – so the lockdowns that sent the revenues of casinos spiraling downward has not affected betting operations. Instead, it was the shutdown of sports that made its effects felt – and in a big way.
The revenues of bookmakers across many states have decreased to a trickle in the spring – in some states, bookies even reported negative growth (as in a decrease) in their revenues. Delaware bookies reported losses in February, and so did West Virginia, and New York. The states that launched their betting operations this year have, perhaps unsurprisingly, mostly reported minimal or even zero revenues in the months without sports.
In the middle of summer, European sports started returning to the stadiums – and bettors started returning to their favorite bookmakers. The real recovery started in August, though, as American sports started their delayed seasons. In the third quarter of 2020, the revenues reported by American bookmakers grew by almost 50% above the results from the same time period in 2019, partly because of the new markets, and partly because of the sports leagues’ busy schedule. Even with the weeks and months of little to no activity, betting operators have reported growth of 27% in the first nine months of the year (most of it in Q3, though).
The big winners of the year were, in turn, online casinos. After all, gaming outlets like the JackpotCity online casino are lockdown-proof, offering a meaningful gaming experience that matches, sometimes even exceeds that of a Las Vegas casino. And, since they are not dealing in sports bets, the disappearance of sports hasn’t affected them at all. While Vegas establishments may have the charm, the JackpotCity has the variety: its game library far exceeds anything a brick-and-mortar casino could offer.
With most commercial casinos in the US closing their gates due to the lockdowns, players have flocked to iGaming operators across the nation. The first nine months of 2020 have seen iGaming revenue grow by a staggering 205.7%, exceeding $1 billion for the first time since 2013. In the third quarter, the growth is even more spectacular: 232.4% compared to the same time period of 2019.
Other Betting News
Connecticut sports betting? DraftKings now has a deal with one of the state's two tribal casinos. https://t.co/DTk5ho5WMQ
— Legal Sports Report (@LSPReport) December 7, 2020
Joseph is a long-time sports betting enthusiast based out of New York. He loves the Jets and is happily married with 2 kids.