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With Streaming Services Taking More Space, Online Gambling Firms Will Respond

Streaming video services are continually taking a more prominent place in entertainment, making themselves a key marketing device.

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Photo by AP Photo/Matt Rourke
Derek Helling Avatar
4 mins read

The inevitable end of the evolution of streaming video services in the United States is clear; the various entertainment companies will just “re-create” cable. Amid current moves to bundle services together, increase the presence of advertisements in programming and land more live sports broadcast rights, the evolution is literally back to the future.

Thus, advertisers like online gambling companies in the US will eventually face the clear choice to buy digital real estate on Cable 3.0. Some relationships between streaming services and gaming brands have already formed.

Given their shared space regarding the devices used to interact with both products, closely connected and long-term collaborations are just as inevitable as cable.

The existing connections between gaming and streaming in the US

In the regulated US online gambling industry, Amazon is already involved while Netflix has dabbled. Amazon Web Services provides its cloud platform to Fanatics1, FanDuel and SimpleBet clients. In that way, many people who play online casino games with Fanatics and FanDuel are already interacting with Amazon systems without knowing it.

Amazon is involved in more obvious ways, too. It has sold odds rights — the digital equivalent of pouring rights at sports venues for beverage producers — for its Thursday Night Football broadcasts to DraftKings2. Also, Prime Video includes a dedicated sports betting channel3.

Comparatively, Netflix’s collaborations with the online gambling industry in the US have been very light. Netflix has licensed its Squid Game4 intellectual property to Light & Wonder so the latter to make an online slot around it. Otherwise, Netflix and US online casinos are competitors for people’s attention.

The intersections of these part-collaborators and part-competitors likely will only increase as time passes. Streaming services like Amazon and Netflix are becoming more vital to entertainment and, as a result, the advertising industry.

Subscriptions are becoming more crucial for sports fans

Sports fans this winter will need a Netflix subscription5 for the first time to unwrap Christmas Day NFL games. That follows a season during which the NFL broke precedent by having a playoff game available exclusively on a streaming service (Peacock).

The NFL isn’t alone in these moves. Amazon has reportedly worked out a deal that could give it exclusive access to some NBA regular-season games6. Prime could come in alongside Disney and Warner Bros. Discovery for the NBA. That deal is not final, however, and other parties are interested.

NBCUniversal has also reportedly been in talks with the NBA for the same share of NBA broadcast rights that Amazon covets, in theory. Should NBCUniversal win that bidding war, Peacock could instead be the must-have for dedicated NBA fans.

Even if NBCUniversal beats out Amazon in this regard, Prime could still be a prime destination for many fans. Amazon has backed Diamond Sports Group‘s bid to re-invent itself via bankruptcy and could be the streaming home for all the Bally Sports network games.

Regardless of who wins in these races, leagues like the NBA and NFL are unlikely to sell these broadcast rights at a discount. The reason behind these power plays by streaming services is both clear and simple.

Sports get eyes, eyes sell ads

Operating and production costs for streaming services continue to be a beast that will never be satiated, also demanding more money. Advertising dollars can help to feed that demand. When it comes to the ability to charge a premium for ad space, nothing justifies the demand for more money like live sports in the US.

Thus, landing popular broadcast rights empowers streamers to sell ads at a higher price7. As such games finding their homes on streaming services exclusively becomes more common, those advertising dollars will reside with the same streamers.

While sports betting may form the basis of advertising relationships between online gambling companies and streamers in the US, online casinos will keep those relationships healthy. In the same way streamers’ ability to land more broadcast rights correlates with their advertising revenue increasing, expanding the map for US online casinos is pivotal for gaming brands.

More for everybody

Currently, just seven US states have an active legal framework for online casino play, with Nevada also allowing people to play poker online legally. As a result, just 11% of the US population has access to a regulated online casino platform where they live.

That could change in 2025, although it’s far from a certainty. Multiple states saw legislation toward that end this year, with proponents looking to mount efforts in future sessions. Should they be successful, there would be a natural incentive for online gambling companies to direct more marketing campaigns to online casino apps.

That’s because for the gaming brands, online casino games are tremendously more lucrative than sports wagering. People firing up streaming services to watch sports might still qualify as the target audience because they are probably already familiar with the gambling companies. Additionally, there are few other types of content that demand the same size audiences.

More online casino gaming means more revenue for gambling operators. This revenue translates to more frequent ads in prime locations, like streaming services that boast exclusive sport broadcasting rights.

Someday, Amazon or Netflix could name an official online casino partner in the US if it can resolve the legal and regulatory concerns. For now, though, expect gambling companies to take more interest in advertising on such platforms.

Sources

  1. Amazon Web Services – Betting & Gaming ↩︎
  2. Amazon Selects DraftKings as Sponsor and the Exclusive Pregame Odds Provider for Thursday Night Football on Prime Video ↩︎
  3. Amazon adds gambling network to Prime Video, weighs stand-alone sports app ↩︎
  4. Netflix Inks First Product-Licensing Deal in the Gambling Industry: ‘Squid Game’ Slot Machine to Hit Casinos in 2024 ↩︎
  5. Netflix will be the home to live NFL games this Christmas Day ↩︎
  6. Amazon Prime has framework deal for NBA broadcast rights, per sources, putting pressure on TNT, NBC ↩︎
  7. Amazon’s big league ambitions ↩︎
Derek Helling Avatar
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Derek Helling is the assistant managing editor of PlayUSA. Helling focuses on breaking news, including finance, regulation, and technology in the gaming industry. Helling completed his journalism degree at the University of Iowa and resides in Chicago

View all posts by Derek Helling

Derek Helling is the assistant managing editor of PlayUSA. Helling focuses on breaking news, including finance, regulation, and technology in the gaming industry. Helling completed his journalism degree at the University of Iowa and resides in Chicago

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