With legal sports betting having gone from being a possibility to hard and fast reality in the US, this year’s Betting on Sports Conference (18-21 September) has a vast amount of ground to cover as it explores how the nascent market will take shape in the next few, crucial months.
To that end, organiser SBC Events has gathered a who’s who of the new market’s most influential thought leaders at Olympia London, who will each be offering their insight and expert opinion as part of the Betting on Americas track held on Wednesday 19 September.
Amongst those lined up is Daniel Wallach, gaming and sports law attorney at Becker & Poliakoff, who will be speaking about the ‘State of the Nation’ in the track’s opener.
Outside of the established Nevada sportsbooks, betting is now legal in Delaware, the first state past the post in the PASPA-free market. New Jersey, second to open sports betting, has become a hive of activity, while Mississippi was third to go legal.
Meanwhile, bettors in West Virginia took fourth place in the race, while Pennsylvania and Rhode Island join the fray this month. New York made sports betting partially available in its upstate casinos, but missed the legislative deadline to get statewide wagering onto the statute books.
Later in the day, Benjie Cherniak, managing director of Don Best Sports, will be discussing the ‘Feeding frenzy’, as suppliers and operators alike jostle for early success.
One of the key factors to this early success has been the willingness to forge partnerships and foster a collegiate approach to technology and knowledge sharing.
Hence the collaborations between the likes of MGM and the NBA, DraftKings and Kambi, Hard Rock and Kindred, FanDuel and Boyd Gaming, as well as William Hill US with IGT and numerous casinos across West Virginia, Mississippi, Nevada and Delaware.
Over the course of the day, attendees can look forward to a thorough agenda addressing the major issues and challenges facing established and new market incumbents in the US.
It will look at the immediate consequences of PASPA’s demise and how mergers and acquisitions are altering the betting landscape. The importance of affiliates and the role they will play will also be examined, as will the burning issue of integrity in sports.
However, the Americas is not just about the US, as shown by ‘Latin Beat – Opportunities further south, a session exploring the current situation in Brazil, as well as major players in the newly regulated market of Colombia. Headlining this track finale will be Lorenzo Caci, director of business development and strategic partnerships for Sportradar.
Sportradar supports the stance that “with regulation comes greater opportunity for a safe and secure wagering environment”. This view was emphasised by recent research from Nelsen, which suggested that 38 per cent of bettors in the US will switch to legal platforms, 33 per cent are expected to use the current methods less and legal platforms more, while 29 per cent of bettors suggest that they won’t change their current habits.
Speaking ahead of next week’s event, Robin Roy, the firm’s sales director for North America, predicted: “A majority of US companies currently operating casinos and racetracks have little to no sports betting experience, so what they are looking for are turnkey solutions. Partnerships are key and licensing is going to be a big hurdle for operators coming in.”
Andrew McCarron, SBC’s managing director, added: “Looking back at when we broached the subject of US sports betting at last year’s BOSCON, it’s incredible to recall just how prescient much of the panel content turned out to be. The tie ups between FanDuel and Paddy Power, DraftKings with Kambi, SBTech and Golden Nugget, GiG and Hard Rock – all of them were predicted by our panel experts.
“Fast forward to the present, and armed with significantly more knowledge of the US sports betting sector, BOSCON is even better positioned to inform stakeholders and encourage new ways of approaching what is one of the biggest betting markets in the world.”