Promotion Of Online Sportsbooks In The United States Is Evolving

Written By Derek Helling on September 27, 2022
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Depending on your perspective, a shift in how the US online sports betting industry operates is horrible or welcome news. Perhaps it’s some of both. Several of the most prominent operators of legal online sportsbooks in United States jurisdictions are changing how they market themselves.

While there’s a very good reason behind the evolution of the promotion, some bettors might not be so thrilled about the changes. For all bettors, the progression of these for-profit businesses toward that end is a good reminder of where they sit in the industry.

Online sports betting advertising is experiencing a renovation

Matthew Waters of Legal Sports Report shared comments from a market analyst speaking during last week’s East Coast Gaming Congress. The Fitch analyst, Colin Mansfield, stated online sportsbooks are shifting their marketing strategies toward actually making money.

Mansfield isn’t the only one providing that commentary on the situation. The Washington Post‘s Danny Funt also quotes former sportsbook execs and analysts that believe companies like BetMGM, Caesars, DraftKings, and PointsBet are pulling back their spending as a way of managing costs in the pursuit of turning a profit.

The parameters of what exactly those sportsbooks are reducing spending on might prompt mixed reactions from bettors.

Less lucrative promos, fewer TV commercials

If your enthusiasm for legal online sports betting has waned due to what has been an atrocious amount of television ads for sportsbooks, take heart. According to Funt, sportsbooks have canceled ad buys and are devoting fewer funds to the production of new commercials.

While casual bettors and sports fans who are uninterested in betting might see that as good news, there’s another side to the coin. For bettors who pick their spots and try to take advantage of promotional offers, this could be bad news.

Like any other for-profit business, a sportsbook’s aim is to make money. Thus, these online sportsbooks are likely to phase out big welcome bonuses for new users and other lucrative promos. In their place, more frequent but much less valuable offers will probably become more of the norm around major sporting events.

Additionally, sportsbooks are devoting more of that funding to creating sports-focused content that encapsulates ads for their products. For example, FanDuel TV is rolling out sports content of its own. BetMGM has just become the new odds provider for NBC’s Sunday Night Football broadcasts.

The advertising isn’t as much diminishing as it is morphing into an avenue that could be more cost-effective. For uninterested fans, though, this evolution could be a push more than a win. Mentions of sportsbook partners during their favorite sports-centric media are on the rise.

The days of 100% matches of customers’ first deposits up to $3,000 or promises of site credits up to $5,000 for lost first bets are numbered. That means bettors need to evolve their approaches to online sports betting along with the sportsbooks.

Navigating this new world of US online sports betting

A key way to approach online sports betting is keeping in mind that the sportsbook fully intends to keep the money you’ve bet. They aren’t leaving that up to pure chance, either. The markets are intentionally designed for you to lose.

With promotions becoming less valuable, that means bettors need to be more strategic about taking advantage of them. For example, suppose DraftKings was offering a 10% profit boost on this weekend’s Kentucky at Mississippi college football game if you put at least $50 down at -115 on Ole Miss to cover the 6.5-point spread as the favorite.

Betting the minimum, that would increase your profit on that bet from $43.48 to $47.82, should Mississippi win by at least a touchdown. You would need to do some homework to decide if that’s a solid bet to make as if Ole Miss fails to cover, you’d be out $50. There’s no free bet or site credit recompense if you lose in this situation.

If you were confident that Mississippi would cover, then you might as well get the extra money. However, chasing less than $5 as a bonus when you stand to lose at least $50 is a bad move if you aren’t sure you’ll win.

An increased emphasis on making a profit is pretty standard for any business. When it comes to sportsbooks, though, it’s important for bettors to remember the path to that profit goes through your bankroll.

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Derek Helling

Derek Helling is a lead writer for PlayUSA. Helling focuses on breaking news, including legislation and litigation in the gaming industry. He enjoys reading hundreds of pages of a gambling bill or lawsuit for his audience. Helling completed his journalism degree at the University of Iowa.

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