Safe Bet Show: Leadership changes in the US sports betting space

The rapid expansion of the North American sports betting and gaming industry has caught the attention of numerous operators based outside the continent – with a range of factors to consider. 

Speaking to Martyn Lycka on the latest episode of the Safe Bet Show, Executive Director of the International Gaming Institute Dr Bo Bernhard, examined developments in one of America’s gaming capitals – Las Vegas. 

Although Northeastern states such as New Jersey and New York have been capturing international attention from betting firms – Better Collective and Kambi notably lauded the opening of the latter market earlier this year – Las Vegas and the state of Nevada continues to pose a lucrative market. 

Dr Bernhard noted that for operators interested in the Gambling Capital of the World, an understanding of entertainment dynamics of the city is necessary for effective leadership in its local gambling scene. 

“As we enter 2022, the most expensive buildings that humans have created on earth are the buildings on the Las Vegas boulevard. They’re massively complex buildings now, and leadership has changed significantly as well. 

“You could have been a CEO of one of those buildings by just being a gaming person, now you have to be somebody who is good at not just casinos but at nightclubs, retail shopping and high end shopping, day clubs and swimming pools, hotels, food and beverage. 

“It requires a different and I would say more complex series of leadership traits to operate there, certainly compared to when I was growing up.”

The growth of online sports betting and gambling following the repeal of PASPA, has, however, contributed to an increased need to address problem gambling in the country, Dr Bernhard observed.

In the Executive Director’s view, a ‘‘Spider-Man line” is necessary in order to bind all aspects of gambling opportunities, including problem gambling, and conduct a thorough inspection of this area in order to develop an adequate response to newly formed responsibilities.

“With expansion of gambling opportunities comes different and new responsibilities to invoke a Spider-Man line because we’re in a situation now where, of course, we have unprecedented access to betting on sports,” he noted. 

“And when those things happen, it’s time to pay attention to the problem gambling issue. Keith White, my friend at the National Council, is fond of saying that at each point when we see these new legislations, we need to see new funding streams from the government, from the private sector, hopefully collaborative in support of problem gambling, research, treatment and all forms of assistance for those who develop a gambling problem.”

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