Connect with us

TOP BREAKING NEWS!

Mobile Sports Betting Is the Moneymaker as More States Legalize


Financial

Mobile Sports Betting Is the Moneymaker as More States Legalize

https://www.wsj.com/articles/mobile-sports-betting-is-the-moneymaker-as-more-states-legalize-11567445689?mod=hp_lead_pos6

Bets placed via smartphones have rapidly brought New Jersey neck-and-neck with Nevada in the race to be the nation’s biggest sports-betting market.

Limits in other states, though, could hamper the nascent industry’s growth.

Online gamblers now account for about 80% of all legal wagers on games in New Jersey, which surpassed Nevada for the first time in May in monthly sports bets, according to figures released by the two states. New Jersey legalized sports betting last year, following a Supreme Court ruling that allowed such moves by individual states.

Place Your Bets

A state-by-state look at where sports betting is allowed or being considered.

Allow single-game

sports betting

Authorized,

but not yet

operational

Legislation

being

considered

Legislation

failed in 2019

No sports betting

bills in 2019

Allow single-

game sports

betting

Authorized,

but not yet

operational

Legislation

being

considered

Legislation

failed

in 2019

No sports

betting bills

in 2019

Allow single-

game sports

betting

Authorized,

but not yet

operational

Legislation

being

considered

Legislation

failed in 2019

No sports betting

bills in 2019

Allow single-

game sports

betting

Legislation

A Step-By-Step Blueprint For Making Money Online, That Is 100% Dummy Proof!

GET EASY FREE TRAFFIC + AFFILIATE OFFER = COMMI$$IONS

Get The Simple Traffic Blueprint Now!

being

considered

No sports betting

bills in 2019

Authorized,

but not yet

operational

Legislation

failed in 2019

As other states have waded into sports gambling since the decision, some are limiting it to physical locations like casinos and have hesitated to go all-in for mobile betting. Many are attempting to strike a balance between online and mobile gambling versus in-person wagering at casinos and racetracks.

Some state lawmakers tout the convenience of betting on smartphones, while others are concerned that easy access could lead to an increase in problem gambling.

In Rhode Island, which launched in-person sports betting at its two casinos last year, and then expanded a few months later to mobile, legislators debated the pros and cons of the technology.

“This can be done in your basement,” said state Rep. Teresa Tanzi, a Democrat, during a floor debate on mobile betting. “This could be done while you’re sitting next to your spouse in the very same room…This is something that people are going to be able to do under the radar until it’s a major problem for them.”

State Senate President

Dominick Ruggerio

countered that without mobile betting, wait times at physical locations could be prohibitive. Last November, he said, before Rhode Island began allowing mobile betting, sports gamblers at the two casinos got frustrated by long lines and sometimes missed out on bets while waiting.

“The line was out the door, around the corner,” Mr. Ruggerio, a Democrat, said.

Supporters said mobile sports betting is already widely available in the form of gray-market apps and offshore websites, and states might as well take control and tax the activity. The American Gaming Association has estimated the value of illegal bets made through neighborhood bookies and offshore sites at $150 billion annually.

Going Mobile

More than four-fifths of the amount of money bet on sports in New Jersey in June 2019 was from online.

“This is a product that wants to live online, where a significant amount of its customer base wants to interact online, and it’s a product that frankly makes more sense online,” said

Chris Grove,

a managing director with consulting firm Eilers & Krejcik Gaming.

Under the Supreme Court’s ruling, each state can set up its own betting system, but bets across state lines aren’t permitted. Mobile apps can use a method known as “geofencing” to keep betting action within a state’s borders.

Twelve states currently allow sports betting of some kind, with online or mobile gambling in five of them: New Jersey, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Iowa and Nevada. Four states limit betting to physical locations. (In the remaining three, laws permit online betting but it hasn’t launched yet.)

Measures to introduce sports betting are at various stages in numerous other states, some with more political support than others.

New Jersey sports bettors wagered a total of $3.2 billion in the first year, with $2.4 billion of that coming in through mobile phones and computers, according to state data.

The online market is dominated by DraftKings Inc. and FanDuel Inc.—rivals best known for fantasy-sports offerings that in some respects resemble betting.

A sportsbook at Bally’s casino in Atlantic City, N.J.


Photo:

Wayne Parry/Associated Press

“This should grow our business many times over—not double, not triple—this should turn us four or five or 10 [times] the size we are now, and those numbers depend on which states and how quickly those states adopt this,” DraftKings Chief Executive

Jason Robins

said in an interview.

Casino operators in Atlantic City, N.J., have largely embraced sports betting, including on mobile devices, as a way to shore up revenue amid competition from new casinos sprouting up in the region.

Nevada doesn’t require casinos to break out mobile-betting revenue in their reports, but regulators estimated that last year about half of sports bets were online, a spokesman for the Nevada Gaming Control Board said.

Arkansas and Mississippi have avoided mobile betting altogether, instead allowing sports betting only in casinos. Mississippi projected the state would receive about $5 million from taxes on sports betting; the first year brought in under $4 million, said

Allen Godfrey,

the Mississippi Gaming Commission’s executive director. Gamblers in the state can use a mobile app while inside a casino.

Tennessee, which has no casinos, is expected to be the first state to test an online-only sports-betting system, though it hasn’t set a start date.

A flurry of deals among gambling companies for online expansion have emerged in the past year.

Caesars Entertainment
Corp.

signed a deal with DraftKings giving the smaller company access to Caesars markets, including casinos in 13 states. DraftKings will promote Caesars as its official casino partner and give it equity, according to the companies, while Caesars can continue to offer its own betting and online casino apps.

MGM Resorts International

recently made public a partnership with

Boyd Gaming
Corp.

to expand mobile and online gaming across the combined 15 states where the two companies are licensed.

SHARE YOUR THOUGHTS

Would you prefer to bet on your favorite team in person at a casino, or via smartphone? Join the conversation below.

The sports-betting business offers operators slim margins—on average about 5% of money wagered, before expenses, according to

Scott Butera,

MGM president of interactive gambling. Even so, the industry will continue to grow over the next two years, driven by mobile technology, Mr. Butera said.

“It actually helps the casino business quite a bit because there’s a lot of crossover between table room players and sports bettors,” he said. “It’s not different from other businesses. To do any form of retail well in this economy, you have to have a really good mobile presence and a really good retail presence. They enhance each other.”

Write to Katherine Sayre at katherine.sayre@wsj.com

Copyright ©2019 Dow Jones & Company, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 87990cbe856818d5eddac44c7b1cdeb8

Free Gift With Our Newsletter

We hate SPAM and promise to keep your email address safe

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Top Stories!

To Top