With the 2018 repeal of PASPA came a flurry of new sports betting legislation, one of the most recent and widespread bipartisan efforts of the 21st century. Since then, more than half of the US has welcomed state-licensed sports betting.
The State of Domestic Betting
Veteran bettors know that legal sports betting options have been available long before 2018 by courtesy of offshore sportsbook operators. Domestic betting was never a need but was ushered in by legislators who felt their state was missing out on potential revenues.
And while many in the industry have always known that state-licensed sports betting would make a return, no one could have imagined the impact it would have on the industry.
To be clear: state-licensed sports betting doesn’t threaten offshore sportsbooks.
Offshore sportsbooks have a brand loyalty factor that is unmatched by domestic books. Their promotion occurs through word-of-mouth exchanges. Many offshore patrons have been betting this way for decades and don’t plan to change their tune.
But that doesn’t mean state-licensed books aren’t trying to poach offshore customers. With advertisements plastered across every billboard and TV screen, these books are far from subtle.
However, the brash execution of gambling expansion in the U.S. stands to upend the structure of the entire industry.
Domestic providers such as FanDuel and DraftKings were sitting on hefty, multi-million-dollar investments several years before becoming fully-fledged sportsbooks.
With sports betting moving out of the taboo, these franchises have taken it upon themselves to not only normalize the practice but embed it in the fabric of American identity.
Excessive promotions may seem like a good thing for the gaming industry but stand to hurt it in the long run. A few residents have voiced their regrets of having voted in favor of Colorado sports betting.
Although some states have offered and enforced voluntary self-exclusion policies, the limitless ad space available to commercial sportsbooks is counter-intuitive to that effort.
Despite being the biggest obstacle during legislative hearings, the prevention of problem gambling doesn’t seem to be a priority for any of these sportsbooks.
Commercials to Courtroom
However, the issue of problem gambling is the arms and legs of legal battles happening right now on Capitol Hill. Many are decrying the predatory nature of such sportsbooks. The overbearing tendencies exhibited domestic sportsbooks are simply feeding the fire.
With the discourse on state-licensed sports betting being this unruly now, just imagine what the next few years will hold. If things continue as they are, your losses will soon be paying for FanDuel or BetMGM’s legal fees.
Depending on how things escalate, Americans could see another outright ban at the Federal level. While unlikely, it is not out of the realm of possibility.
When all is said and done, commercial books could ruin it for everyone.
Source: The New York Times