BOSA Digital Day One: US Sports Wagering Moving Faster Than All Predictions
- All BOSA panelists agreed US 2020 sports wagering results have exceeded all predictions
- Industry CEO’s at the digital conference envision continuing success in 2021 & beyond
- Topics probed included new opportunities for broadcasts involving sports wagering
Although many were disappointed this year’s BOSA (Bet on Sports America) Conference was detoured to digital access by COVID-19, certainly, no one was upset by the optimistic forecast by speakers discussing the near future for US sports wagering.
Kicking off the popular event attended online by several noted gaming industry officials was CEO Joe Asher of Caesars Sportsbook, predicting that the United States was ahead of expectation toward becoming the world’s largest bookmaking market. Asher also envisioned three of the largest US states eventually coming aboard including Florida, Texas, and California to meet those ambitious projections.
Asher said in a keynote interview opening the BOSA Digital conference:
There are obviously political considerations, but this is a great source of revenue for the states and it’s something that people want. I don’t think there’s any doubt that over time you’ll see legislation passed.
An All-Star List of Speakers
The BOSA Digital Conference certainly had a full menu of varied topics geared to all interests and an opportunity to learn about a variety of issues shaping the US sports wagering landscape.
Especially interesting was an opportunity to listen in on opinions from a group of CEOs who are making important decisions and creating headlines we read about weekly. The “Vision of the Future – CEO Panel” included Kip Levin CEO, FOXBet, Greg Carlin, CEO Rush Street, Adam Greenblatt, CEO BetMGM, Kristian Nylen, CEO & Co-Founder Kambi and Dermot Smurfit, CEO GAN. Moderating the esteemed group was David Wang, CEO & Founder Bet.Works.
It was encouraging to hear this panel of CEO’s, especially optimistic when discussing both the near and projected future for the US sports wagering market. Undeterred through experiencing 2020 marked by COVID-19, many casino closures, and sports overall in an uncertain situation.
“This is a state not in diapers, it’s even before that,” said Adam Greenblatt, CEO of BetMGM. “Our bet count for the month was higher than in the state of New Jersey. That tells me there are latent demand and a massive ramp where the regulations are facilitated.”
Kip Levin, CEO of FOXBet said:
We thought we had a good view as to how big the sports gambling market would be. It’s probably two or three times what we would have estimated by now. And every other market has sort of followed suit that we’ve launched in.
In early 2021 we should see the total of US states where sports betting is legalized reach 25. Most will have online wagering. It certainly exceeds what might have been predicted a year ago. Levin said. “It’s well beyond what we would have expected.”
Sports Betting and Broadcasting a Popular Topic
The topic of our new sports wagering television and radio shows their effect on the public and the opportunity to enhance the sports betting market was addressed in two Day One panel.
One was entitled “Content Rich – Betting and Broadcasting”. The synopsis included how broadcasters are now appealing to a sports-bet loving public. Who are the big personalities essentially representing the industry in people’s homes?
Another group discussion was titled “Media Grab – New Brands in Gambling. With media brands of various sizes becoming sports betting operators, what is the vision behind this diversification? Could local broadcasters follow the lead of FOX and The Score? What about plans other major broadcasters have for sports betting?
As sports networks add programming devoted specifically to sports wagering and integrate the subject into regular sports telecasts, what was once taboo seems more and more readily accepted.
The fact that you see pre-game shows now where betting is part of the pre-game analysis, I wouldn’t have guessed we’d be that far this quickly. I think the next phase of that will be more people will be watching live sports streaming, and so as the media landscape changes, that will open up really interesting innovation opportunities for people who want to watch. Imagine you’re streaming a live game in an app where you can see your bet wrapped around it and make decisions while you’re watching a game with everything in one place.”
Day Two of BOSA Digital is scheduled for Wednesday, December 2. It promises more shared optimism plus another opportunity to get a glimpse of what can be expected to impact the always changing scope of US sports wagering.
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Larry Gibbs is both a seasoned journalist and a respected online gaming industry consultant. His wry commentary & sharp analysis have appeared in numerous top gaming and sports wagering publications. He has also served as Vice President of US Gaming Services, a marketing research organization with 15 years of experience in US online wagering. He has spoken at noted gaming industry conferences including G2E, GiGSE, and NCLGS.
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