The Global Gaming Expo (G2E) – one of the first key exhibitions to take place in the betting space since May’s repeal of PASPA – gets underway next week in Nevada and, as a Platinum Sponsor, Sportradar will enjoy a strong presence.
Split into education and exhibition sections, G2E will see stakeholders from across the U.S. betting landscape gather to discuss the potential roadmap ahead for the market with Sportradar contributing to panel talks while also offering a showcase of Betradar’s Managed Trading Services offerings and turnkey solutions at booth 4023.
Ahead of G2E Las Vegas, we caught up with Sportradar’s Vice-president of Sales, Gaming, Neale Deeley to discuss the event and how the U.S. market has progressed since the repeal of the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA).
How have things moved so far regarding US betting since the repeal of PASPA?
In many ways, although it is clearly a fast-moving situation in terms of the deals that have already been announced, it is still very much early days for sports betting in the U.S. States such as New Jersey and Mississippi had legislation in the can and were ready to go almost as soon as the decision was handed down. While I’m looking forward to seeing which states are in line to get the ball rolling for the next legislative sessions, the likelihood is that the various moves will be protracted. The overall message is that we are obviously encouraged by the progress so far – and the very fact that PASPA has been struck down – but it’s still very much early days.
Are any trends emerging thus far regarding how companies are approaching betting in the US?
Yes, while we have seen many of the large casino interests take steps to claim their share of the market, we are also seeing new start-ups emerge such as BetChicago, who we partnered with recently and who hope to take advantage of any potential opportunities in Illinois. What will be interesting is the degree to which each state will allow for mobile betting. If betting is restricted to land-based betting, then the opportunities for new entrants are clearly going to be limited but if mobile betting is included as part of any legislative package, then more opportunities for new and existing brands will open up.
What are the key points companies need to bear in mind when it comes to approaching a new market like the US?
First of all, anyone looking to the US has to understand that each state is different with a varied slate of stakeholders wanting to get involved. Each market will bring with it its own challenges and hurdles so having a grasp of the politics and legislation in each state is a pretty sizeable task in itself. Then it will come down to understanding the commercial opportunities. This is more or less a given for any operator in any given market; understanding the financial viability of an opportunity and being properly committed to it will mean you don’t make any avoidable mistakes further down the line.
Are there any specific challenges emerging in the market and, if so, how are companies and providers dealing with them?
I think the specific challenges are around the differing attitudes being taken by each individual state. Operators and suppliers have to stay on top of these issues. What works in one state might not work in any other and vice versa and success stories may not translate across state lines. Just look at the differences between New Jersey for instance, where you have multiple skins and mobile, and Delaware, where it is lottery only, and with a very limited customer proposition.
Is the pattern of growth within the U.S. market so far similar to other previous emerging areas?
There will always be noticeable differences between how markets develop and grow from scratch, but certain broader patterns will be discernible. It is like Europe. The patchwork quilt of regulations in differing countries means a ‘European strategy’ needs flexibility to deal with the intricacies from country to country. U.S. state-by-state sports betting will be very similar and once markets are up and running the sector will be able to better understand the scale of opportunities ahead as well as expected growth paths. What we know already is that a willing and enthusiastic audience for sports betting exists in the US, but that is just the start. This market has the potential to become huge over time.
How important is G2E Vegas to the company following the PASPA decision and what can guests expect from us at the event?
This is the biggest trade show in the U.S. and it’s a great opportunity to meet up with prospects, customers and partners. We’re looking forward to speaking to attendees and contributing to the discussions around the market and its development.
Find Sportradar at Booth 4023 during the Global Gaming Expo!