The growing US wagering and iGaming market is attracting gambling operators from the UK, with some of the biggest brands seeking to enter the country’s newly-regulated market in light of an ongoing review at home.
British Operators Interested in the US
British gambling and gaming operators are continuing their expansion course into the growing US betting market. Recently, sports betting company Bet365 opened its doors in New Jersey – the state with the highest wagering volume across the entire US. In fact, New Jersey set a record a total of three times this year.
British sportsbook operator William Hill has also launched a serious campaign across the US. The company is already operational in New Jersey and Colorado and has recently entered Nevada, Iowa, West Virginia, and Illinois as well. Furthermore, William Hill also has the potential to enter an additional 24 other states.
A Growing Market
The interest spike in the burgeoning US market is a recent phenomenon. It is a result of the country’s 2018 decision to lift its blanket federal ban on online sports betting. Before this move, sports betting was only legal and permissible in a small number of locations, such as Las Vegas and Atlantic City.
The US Government has left the decision whether and how to legalize sports betting in the hands of the individual states. It has taken some time, but around half of all US states now recognize and allow online sports betting in some form. Many made the decision only this year, partially motivated by the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, there are still a few important outliers such as Texas and California.
The fledgling market is currently dominated by big name players such as FanDuel and DraftKings. The two companies shifted their focus from daily fantasy sports to operating sportsbooks following the legalization of sports betting. Their market dominance is aided by their well-established brand recognition and impressive existing customer base.
Several casinos have also leveraged their positions to transition into the sports betting market. This includes BetMGM and Ceasar’s, which recently received a takeover bid from William Hill.
State of the US Market
Despite its reputation as the gambling capitol of the US, Nevada is no longer the most lucrative US market. That title now belongs to New Jersey, largely due to the looser restrictions on online betting. Nevada requires bettors to sign-up, deposit and withdraw in person, while those in New Jersey can do so online. In fact, around 80% of all wagers in New Jersey are carried out online.
New Jersey also enjoys a constant stream of gambling enthusiasts from neighboring New York. The state has not legalized online betting so far. However, New York residents can cross state lines to place a bet and may use New Jersey sports betting sites.
Nevada’s tourism-based economy has taken substantial losses this year and there is still no rebound in sight. However, its economy is still performing better compared to earlier in 2020. It remains to be seen how the situation will develop, especially given the state’s recent decision to extend casino restrictions.
Overall, the US market is set to grow even bigger in the coming year. Tennessee is already seeing strong growth, while Louisiana, Michigan and South Dakota are likely to legalize sports betting soon. New York may consider doing so as well, given the recent performance drop of casinos in the state. If it does, New Jersey may lose its leading position.