There’s a paradigm shift taking place that many tried for years to keep from happening in the US. Sports betting and the sports industry, despite being able to operate in unison in other parts of the world with little problems, weren’t able to connect in the country. That has definitely changed since 2018, and the two will continue to become more tightly intertwined over the next decade. Next week’s Global Gaming Expo (G2E) will include discussions on this convergence, and the owner of an NFL team will take the stage to explain how.
Sports Finally Meets Legal Sports Betting in the US
Most sports leagues in the US had fought to keep sports betting out of the limelight but, while it wasn’t totally enamored by the idea, the NFL has always shown that it was more willing to embrace the activity. That has become more evident since PASPA was killed in 2018, with the league making several key partnerships with sportsbooks. A number of individual teams have recruited sports betting operators, as well, as partners, and the paradigm shift continues.
When G2E comes to Las Vegas next week, Michael Bidwill, the owner of the NFL’s Arizona Cardinals, will be there. Arizona just launched its sports betting market and the team didn’t waste any time connecting with BetMGM on a sportsbook at State Farm Stadium. Bidwill is ready for the continued merge between sports and sports betting, and will give the final keynote address at G2E alongside American Gaming Association (AGA) President and CEO Bill Miller. The presentation is scheduled for October 6 on the main stage of G2E, which will be held at The Venetian Expo. Bidwill will also be involved in a few panels during the event, as well.
Sports Betting in the US Continues to Expand
Although a couple of states still refuse to embrace the inevitable future, legal sports betting in the US continues to advance. Much of the growth comes from the revenue possibilities legal markets can provide to state coffers, with the NFL consistently viewed as a major source of funds. This year, the AGA has predicted that the amount of money wagered on NFL-related activity will be 36% higher than it was last year. Part of the increase can be attributed to a larger legal sports betting pool, with 26 states plus Washington, DC now offering their own legal markets. Six other states have legalized the activity, but have yet to launch.
Sports betting has always been around, even if it wasn’t legal in the US. The difference now is that states are able to capture the revenue from the activity while offering programs to combat problem gambling. The presence of sports betting at G2E marks a huge step forward for the sports betting industry and Miller is anxious to dive into how professional sports and sports betting can safely and successfully coexist. “I just thought he would be a really interesting figure to have to talk about how the NFL’s positions have evolved, how individual teams have approached this in different markets and to have a conversation about that. We (the gaming industry) should talk about what we need to do to keep sports betting on the right side of success and not fail,” he asserts.