Sports betting in the United States has experienced explosive growth since May 2018, when the U.S. Supreme Court struck down the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA), a decades-old federal law that prevented states other than Nevada from allowing legal, regulated single-game sports wagers. According to the American Gaming Association, as of February 22, 2022, 30 states and Washington, D.C. feature live, legal sports betting markets, with additional markets pending launch in three states. Meanwhile, eight states have active or pre-filed legislation.
G2E Insider sat down with three industry leaders to hear their unique perspectives on the biggest challenges in sports betting in 2021 and what trends they are following in 2022.
Brandt Iden, Head of Government Affairs, US, Sportsradar
2021 was a fantastic year for sports wagering growth throughout the country and 2022 is going to be just as exciting. From major market launches like New York to the pending ballot referendums in California, 2022 could be the biggest growth year for the industry since PASPA was overturned.
However, with such explosive growth it becomes even more incumbent on us to promote policies which highlight best practices throughout the industry like ensuring low tax rates, emphasizing the importance of robust commercial markets, and advocating for increased responsible gaming measures. Low tax rates provide an opportunity for operators of all sizes to enter the market and grow within this new industry, while at the same time ensuring a competitive market that drives innovation and engagement for consumers. Additionally, prioritizing responsible gaming initiatives in legislation will lead to advancing the safeguards needed to protect consumers and help the industry prepare itself for future growth.
Brianne Doura-Schawohl, Founder and CEO, Doura-Schawohl Consulting
I believe the biggest challenges facing the sports betting industry include concerns surrounding the abundance of advertising and promotional offerings. The saturation of advertisements across the U.S. has begun to be called into question by legislators and regulators due to fears about increased gambling addiction and undo and improper influence of vulnerable populations.
The trends I’m monitoring the closest are tech and cashless gaming. Both offer significant opportunities and liabilities that could either revolutionize the way the country and industry address problem and responsible gaming or create catastrophic problems. I think we'd all prefer the first option with a shared goal of creating a safe and sustainable industry.
Ari Borod, Chief Commercial Officer, Fanatics Betting & Gaming
As sports betting continues to grow, the biggest challenge will be creating a differentiated product that augments the customer experience for all sports fans.
Fanatics is constantly looking to enhance the digital experience across all sports verticals and gaming is no different. From the diehard fan watching every game to the casual viewer tuning in for the Super Bowl, we want to create a product that’s easy and fun to use for every sports fan.
It’s been fascinating to watch adoption and reactions to new features being rolled out across the market like same-game parlays and live data visualizations. We want to build on that momentum to develop a best-in-class offering.
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