Sports betting is quickly going mainstream.
Now, US sportsbook operator FanDuel is about to ink a deal giving the world a window into what that’ll look like in the not-so-distant future.
This week, the American Gaming Association released a map showing the spread of legal sports betting across the US. It showed there are now eight states with legal sports betting. Additionally, there are three more that have passed legislation and are currently formulating regulations to govern it.
It also showed there are 21 other states considering passing sports betting legislation of their own in 2019.
Heavily populated states like California, Texas, and Florida have already proven they’ll be slower to come on board. However, there’s no better indication sports betting is going mainstream than its spread to more than half the country.
A 50-state $17 billion opportunity
One industry analyst called sports betting a 50-state $17 billion revenue opportunity at the recent Betting on Sports America conference.
Eilers & Krejcik Gaming Managing Director of Sports & Other Verticals Chris Grove admitted it’ll probably be only around $6 billion by 2023.
However, even those are still mainstream numbers. Especially considering it’s an industry that was pretty much restricted to Nevada until the US Supreme Court lifted a federal ban in May 2018.
Grove also mentioned that mobile and online sports betting represents the lion’s share of that opportunity. That’s a claim continuously backed up by numbers coming out of the New Jersey sports betting market. New Jersey has emerged as the largest sports betting market outside of Nevada and it is already close to 80 percent online.
The future of sports betting will clearly be on the internet, but questions about what that will look like remain.
However, New Jersey’s top-grossing sports betting operation may have the answer to that next week. This week, FanDuel Group, which runs FanDuel Sportsbook online and retail sports betting operations at the Meadowlands Racetrack in New Jersey, told Bloomberg it’s about to become the first US sports betting operator to offer live sports broadcasts on its website and mobile app.
This is thanks to a deal with Sportradar AG that it’s preparing to announce next week.
The marriage of sports betting and sports broadcasting
This deal will give New Jersey sports fans the chance to watch and bet on games in the same place online.
Of course, it’s going to start out small, with just mid-level tennis matches and German Bundesliga soccer on tap. However, this marriage between sports broadcasting and sports betting looks like it may be the future of both industries.
FanDuel Sportsbook GM Niall Connell told Bloomberg European sportsbooks that stream events have seen action on those games increase exponentially. So, there’s no question sportsbooks like the idea.
Broadcasters looking for a way to pay for ever-ballooning TV rights deals should embrace it as well. Plus, it may represent the best way for leagues to finally get the piece of the sports betting pie they covet.
As the Bloomberg article indicated, US sports leagues like the NFL, NBA, and MLB are locked into long-term TV rights deals.
These deals were in place long before the spread of legal sports betting. So, don’t expect the courtship of sports broadcasting and sports betting to happen overnight. But expect it to happen.
German soccer and obscure tennis you won’t find anywhere except FanDuel Sportsbook represent a window into the future.
The more states that legalize sports betting, the more mainstream the activity will become. Then, it seems like only a matter of time before those long-term TV rights deals expire and sports betting and sports broadcasting come together like never before.