UK gambling operators are becoming more interested in US expansion as sports betting starts spreading across the country.
The state of Delaware has already seen some new rules on sports betting come into effect, while the neighbouring state of New Jersey is expected to start accepting sports bets any time soon. A number of other US states are set to roll out sports betting legislation, as the ruling of the US Supreme Court has opened the door to a major expansion of the country’s gambling market.
As the financial analyst David Jennings told the BBC, the fact that the US federal ban on sports betting was lifted thanks to the New Jersey sports betting case ruling has been taken as a “once in a lifetime” opportunity for the US states to establish a new and profitable market. Apart from that, the fact that many of the US states are willing to open their sports betting sectors could be great for UK gambling operators which have been looking for consolidation, considering the fact that the UK Government and gambling regulators have been imposing stricter gambling rules, and the competition has risen immensely over the past few years.
However, according to some market analysts, the betting on the US gambling market is still a risky step, primarily due to the fact that UK companies would have to face a much more complicated legislative and regulatory system, as the country has a state-by-state regulation. In addition, the British gambling operators would have to face local competition, as US companies would do whatever it takes to defend their interests.
US Sports Betting Market Expected to Be Profitable
James Midmer, a spokesman of Paddy Power Betfair, the company which has recently acquired the US daily fantasy sports provider FanDuel, commented on the rumours for US expansion, saying that such a step is found quite logical by the operator which is focusing on it, but still, they did not want to talk too much about that at this point.
According to a Technavio report which was published at the beginning of the year, the US generated approximately 23% of the world’s gaming revenue of £182 billion in 2017. Now, gambling companies are hoping to increase that share thanks to the ruling which the US Supreme Court’s made in May. As mentioned above, the ruling found that the 1992 federal law, under which sports betting outside a number of states was illegal, was an over-reach of federal power.
Still, the US Supreme Court’s decision on the case did not automatically make sports betting legal across the country. That question was left to state lawmakers, with every US state being left to decide upon the matter by its own.
This is exactly what raises some concerns among some market analysts. With every state being individually left to decide upon the addition of sports betting options to its gambling landscape, that would mean a variety of licensing rules and procedures, as well as possible differences in sports betting operation licenses. In addition, UK gambling operators would face the competition of local companies which would not give up from the very promising newly-unveiled market.
In addition, some global sports betting companies are expected to join forces in partnerships to resist the already existing US gaming industry, including state-run lotteries, various casino operators and Native American tribes-run gambling venues. According to some analysts, UK operators would have to bet on partnership deals in order to make a breakthrough on the US sports betting market.