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Category Archives: Gambling
ClubProGuy: Its not gambling if you always win, so make sure to tip the odds in your favor – Golf.com
Posted: October 27, 2019 at 3:31 pm
2. Run a misdirection
Most guys arent dumb. Theyll be watching your body language to see which partner youre angling for. Knowing that, youll need to create a diversion. Act as if youre interested in a partner that, truthfully, youre not. Say something like, Lets make it easy. Hubert and I will just play you guys straight up. Never mind that Hubert is a 14 who cant even play to a 25 under the gun. Members of your group will start to think maybe you know something they dont. Perhaps you witnessed Hubert having a breakthrough on the range. Maybe Huberts index just went up two shots on the latest revision and that info has slipped through the cracks. You get the idea. Its all BS, but a diversion like this will take the spotlight off the player you really want.
3. Position handicaps as guides
Yes, indexes are calculated using a complex formula, but this isnt an exact science. Thats why every time you announce your or your partners index, you need to attach the word but. Like, Im a 16.2, but I injured my groin playing pickleball, so Ill play at a 22 today. Or I know Jims a 13.7, but hes disputing his 71 tournament score from the club championship, so Ill take him at a 16. Or the always valuable, Im a 19, but I havent had time to enter my scores from my trip to Sandals Jamaica, so Ill just play at a 23 today. I know this is a lot to digest, but its importance cant be overstated. Use the off-season to recite these techniques in the mirror and make 2020 your best year ever!
@ClubProGuy offers financial services at imbroketoobro.com.
Posted: at 3:31 pm
Journal-Courier staff, email@example.com
For the past days, weve been thinking about the paperwork from a September raid on the Springfield office of state Sen. Martin Sandoval. We dont know why the feds went snooping Sandoval has not been accused of wrongdoing but we know the search reflected a broadminded curiosity about video gambling, construction, a suburban red light camera company and ComEd.
Maybe the details will be divulged over time, but were already intrigued by the many dozens, yes, dozens, of people and entities mentioned in the Sandoval search warrant. They represent a trip across the Illinois landscape of politics and clout.
Gov. J.B. Pritzker has now joined the fray. Heres the background:
One of those named in the search warrant is Rick Heidner, owner of Gold Rush Gaming, a video gambling company that has machines in such towns as Lyons, McCook and Summit. Heidner is also part of a team that wants to build a harness racing track and casino in Tinley Park a conglomeration known as a racino. None of those facts is spelled out in the Sandoval search warrant. Instead, Heidner and his company are referenced under a general heading of items to be seized: Items related to Rick Heidner, Gold Rush Gaming.
Heres something else not listed in the search warrant: Heidner has longstanding business ties to a banking family whose financial involvement with mob figures helped torpedo the proposed Emerald Casino in Rosemont.
Pritzker intervened in the race track deal, saying the state would not sell the land on which the proposed racino would be located.
Pritzker is smart to halt the action right here, right now, until regulators come up to speed. Illinois is embarking on a huge gambling expansion statewide. Immense amounts of money potentially are in play. Many legislators see nothing but new buckets of revenue. A governor who moves swiftly to keep scandal at bay is protecting the reputation, and the reality, of legal gambling in Illinois.
We arent accusing Heidner of any wrongdoing. In the past, he has partnered in business deals with Rocco Suspenzi, chairman of Parkway Bank and Trust. Back in 2003, the FBI and Illinois Gaming Board found that Suspenzi and his son Jeffrey concealed their own ownership stake, as well as that of a reputed mob figure, in the Emerald casino deal. And now the governor is sidelining Heidners race track activity.
Why the Illinois Racing Board evidently didnt understand Heidners background when it approved the horse track portion of the proposed casino is one of many questions we have. Pritzker should have questions, too.
What does it add up to? Maybe all this federal activity leads nowhere. Or maybe this line in the Sandoval document becomes key: Agents were looking for Items related to any official action taken in exchange for a benefit.
Would such a thing ever happen in Illinois?
Read the original here:
Posted: at 3:31 pm
Rhode Island Ethics is nothingshort of a joke, especially if we consider the states rampant corruption inthe gambling industry. The Ethics Commission of the state is frequentlyconsidered a lapdog instead of a watchdog. Now, the Democratic Governor of thestate Gina Raimondo is being called out for her corrupt ties with gambling.
Raimondo has an unusually closerelationship with International Game Technology (IGT), and even fellow DemocratNicholas Mattiello calls it incestuous. She went on to give IGT a no-bidcontract worth $1 billion to run the lottery service in the state for 20 years.No-bid contracts not just eliminate competition but reek of corruption as well,especially when a Governor ties a company to the lottery for a whopping twodecades.
It is also important to note thatIGTs Rhode Island performance is underwhelming than its peers. Other companieswith similar contracts in other states have performed considerably better thanIGT. Slot machines operated by SGI recorded 56% higher profits, but IGT endedup with a $31,000 lower revenue per machine for Rhode Island. In the lastfiscal alone, IGTs questionable performance has cost state taxpayers about $25million.
But Rhode Islands bid to attractonline gambling revenue is not uncommon. Most US states are rushing to createonline gambling regulations in hopes of larger revenues. The PASPA strike downin 2018 has now opened a larger avenue for online gambling companies to work inthe US. Unfortunately, most of these companies are registered and licensedabroad and do not have what it takes to operate in a highly regulated marketlike the US.
Shady practices by overseas firmsare quite common. For instance, Gaming Innovative Group was slapped with a $5million fine in Sweden for providing sports betting options to minors. Firmspaid over 4.5 million in fines to the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) forfailing to prevent money laundering and providing safe gambling options tousers. Norwegian authorities went as far ahead as to ban six gaming firms basedin Malta over corruption charges. The Chinese app store of Apple removedthousands of apps providing gambling services because of a targeted state mediacampaign against the companies.
With the bad repute of onlinegambling firms and rampant corruption in Rhode Island, it would be interestingto check if gambling stops being a burden on the taxpayers anytime soon.
Posted: at 3:31 pm
Gambling is the preferred source of entertainment for millions of people around the world. Most people gamble for recreation, but there are also those who do it because they are incapable of controlling the impulse to place bets.
This serious condition has many names gambling disorder, compulsive gambling, pathological gambling, gambling addiction. Call it what you will, but one thing is certain it leads to financial disaster and has the potential to ruin lives and relationships.
As a gambling-industry news outlet,casino guardianrecognizes the dangers associated with such lack of control. Their latest infographic aims to help readers acquaint themselves with the symptoms of gambling addiction.
It containsfirst signs of gambling addictionlisted in ascending order to better illustrate the gradation of this impulse-control disorder. As regretful as it is, most people underestimate the dangerous consequences of compulsive gambling, largely due to its hidden symptomatology.
It is important to recognize that compulsive gambling hijacks a persons brain in the same manner substance and alcohol abuse do. Those affected struggle to control themselves and continue their involvement in gambling activities in spite of the adverse consequences this has on their lives.
As the infographic shows, people afflicted by this condition need to constantly raise their stakes to achieve the same level of reward. It is not uncommon for one such person to chase their losses, deny or hide their problem, and borrow or steal to feed their addiction.
If left untreated, this form of addiction can cause serious disruptions in ones life. It has a pronounced negative effect on ones mentality, which, in turn, may lead to a decline in their physical health when the worse comes to the worst.
The rest is here:
Posted: October 26, 2019 at 1:49 pm
PGA Tour commissioner Jay Monahan, in an exclusive interview with AFP at the Zozo Championship in Japan, said that there will be on-site gambling options for fans in 2020.
Youll start to see product in the market place next year, Monahan told AFP. Its all about engagement. When done right, it gives fans the opportunity to engage with your sport over a longer period of time and have more interest in whats happening across the entire player field.
Noting that sports wagering is legal in many international markets, Monahan says the Tour has put the right systems in place, both in terms of an integrity and monitoring activity.
Specifics werent revealed but Monahan said the Tour will be working with IMG Arena on building out a gambling platform.
Its estimated that by years end, legalization is possible in a dozen states in the Northeast and Midwest but that many states in the South and far West dont seem to be in a big hurry.
Before the May 2018 Supreme Court ruling that allowed sports books across the country, full-service ones were running legally only in Nevada. In 2019, they opened in seven more states. As of this summer, sports books have been legalized but havent yet begun operating in another five, plus the District of Columbia.
Bills are awaiting signatures from the governors in Illinois, Maine and New Hampshire. Colorado voters will decide the matter for that state in November.
USA TODAY contributed to this report.
See the original post here:
Posted: at 1:49 pm
Imagine if, after watching the thrilling victory of the Chicago Cubs in Game 7 of the 2016 World Series over the Cleveland Indiansa game in which the Cubs won their first championship in over a centuryyou learned that the Indians had collaborated with gamblers to intentionally throw the series.
Would you trust the game, its umpires, and its players, ever again?
That was the scope of the crisis that enveloped baseball a century ago, when key members of the 1919 Chicago White Sox, including pitchers Eddie Cicotte and Claude Lefty Williams, conspired to throw the series to their opponents, the Cincinnati Reds.
What became known as the Black Sox Scandal rocked professional baseball. But it wasnt an aberration in a sport that was otherwise clean.
Baseball became Americas national pastime because ofand not in spite ofgambling.
In his book Baseball in the Garden of Eden, historian John Thorn explains how gambling was far from an impediment to the games flowering; instead, it was the vital fertilizer.
In baseballs infancy, the sport was thought of as a boys game. But over the course of the 19th century, gambling deepened adult interest and investment in the sport, attracting cohorts of older fans.
Gamblings popularity was helped along by the spread of statistics, that particular lifeblood of baseball that still keeps fans hooked today. Developed initially to allow the results of a game to be printed onto the page in the form of box scores, statistics also created a pool of data that gamblers could use to inform their betsmany of which were made from the stands, in the middle of games.
In his history of Fenway Park, Glenn Stout describes how, in the ballparks early years, the best seats were quickly taken over by a rabid contingent of gamblers who bet on absolute everything imaginable, ranging from the eventual winnerto ball and strike calls and even such arcane issues as whether the wind would change direction. Fans waving dollar bills and barking out bets resembled brokers on the floor of the stock exchange.
This kind of gambling was so common in the stands that Ernest Lawrence Thayers iconic 1888 poem, Casey at the Bat,captured such a moment in one of its stanzas:
A straggling few got up to go in deep despair.
The rest clung to that hope which springs eternal in the human breast;
They thought, If only Casey could but get a whack at that
Wed put up even money now with Casey at the bat.
Some players also sought to get in on the action.
In 1919, the highest-paid player was Detroit Tigers outfielder Ty Cobb, who earned $20,000which equates to roughly $300,000 today, or less than Major League Baseballs current minimum salary.
Most of Cobbs peers earned far less than the future Hall of Famer. Working with gamblers was an attractive way to supplement their incomesand many of them did.
One of the most notorious was first baseman Hal Chase. Dubbed the Black Prince of Baseball by baseball historians Donald Dewey and Nicholas Acocella, Chase made a veritable career out of throwing games. Playing mostly with the New York Highlanders, Chase, as Charles Fountain noted, threw games for money, he threw games for spite, he threw games as a favor for friends, he threw games apparently for no reason at all other than to stay in practice.
But this wasnt the kind of gambling that brought baseball to the brink of disaster in 1919. That scandal saw the players themselvesworking in tandem with professional gamblers and gangstersfix the World Series.
The 1919 World Series was the best-attended Series at that point in the games history, but the play of the White Sox turned the games into elaborate theatrical performances.
Those in on it had to play to lose, and the statistics are telling.
Shortstop Swede Risberg hit .080not a typowhile committing four fielding errors. Outfielder Happy Felsch didnt do much better, hitting .192, with just five hits in 26 at-bats. He also committed two errors. Pitcher Claude Lefty Williams surrendered 12 runs in 16.1 innings of work.
While the players tried to pull off authentic performances for fans, they werent always successful. Felsch was chided by his fellow cheaters for his blunders in center, which they deemed too obvious.
Fundamentally, however, the games lacked the core drama and appeal of sports: the uncertainty of the outcome.
Sportswriters took notice. Rumors were already flying in the press box before the World Series conclusion that something was wrong. Sports journalist Hugh Fullerton had heard these rumors when he arrived to cover the series, though he tried to convince himselfand his readersthat the story couldnt be true. Still, once the series ended, Fullerton wrote worriedly in the Chicago Herald and Examiner that Yesterdays, in all probability, is the last game that will be played in any World Series.
Fullerton kept pursuing the story and became the first sportswriter to break the details to the public in December 1919, with an article in the New York World entitled, Is Big League Baseball Being Run for Gamblers, with Players In on the Deal?
As more details emerged, the scandal overwhelmed the sport and threatened to destroy it. If the World Series itself, baseballs premiere event, could not be trusted, how would the sport survive?
The new baseball commissioner, Kenesaw Mountain Landis, acted decisively and independently of the courts. Even after the players were acquitted in a trial that ended on Aug. 2, 1921, Landisa former federal judgehad already made his decision.
Regardless of the verdict of juries, he announced, on the morning of Aug. 3, 1921, no player that throws a ball game; no player that undertakes or promises to throw a ball game; no player that sits in a conferencewhere the ways and means of throwing games are discussed and does not promptly tell his club about it, will ever play professional baseball.
The stunned White Sox playersincluding stars like Shoeless Joe Jackson, who had hit .375 in the series but was nonetheless aware of what his teammates were up towere banned from baseball for life.
Seventy years later, commissioner Bart Giamatti acted in a similarly swift and punitive manner when he banned all-time hits leader Pete Rose from baseball in 1989.
Bart Giamatti calls the banishment of Pete Rose the sad end to a sorry episode in a 1989 news conference.
Rose had admitted to gambling on his own games, even as a manager. Some thought Giamatti overreacted, given that Rose never bet against his own team.
That argument, as historian Bruce Kuklick wrote in a 1999 essay, doesnt hold up. Rose, he points out, didnt bet on every game. Its not inconceivable, then, that he would make decisions during games in which he didnt place betssay, not bringing in his best relief pitcher to make sure that reliever would be available for the games he did bet on.
Giamatti surely had 1919 on his mind when he meted out Roses punishment. With the game having barely escaped death once, Giamatti knew that organized baseball couldnt risk skating too close to that edge again.
And yet in August of this year, Major League Baseball made FanDuela daily fantasy sports gambling serviceits official gambling partner.
It may be that baseball hopes that gambling will bring more adults back to the sport, just as it did in its early days. After all, attendance at games is down. Football, meanwhile, has become the most watched sport on television in the US. Six million viewers even tuned in for the 2019 NFL Draft.
Gambling may fuel more interest in the sport. But throwing on more fuel can result in a fire that burns out of control. In 1919, baseball came close to burning its own house down. One hundred years later, journalist Hugh Fullerton would surely be stunned to know that big league baseball has once again made a contract with gamblers, in full view of both players and fans.
Lets hope the story doesnt end in scandal this time around.
This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.
Posted: at 1:49 pm
The podcast will be back next week, but until then, we have given you our picks in written form for the second week in a row. Dont pay attention to the overall season record, this week seems like a nice time to make some money with some opportunistic lines and over/unders.
Gamble at your own risk obviously, but the LGC is feeling a turn around here.
Cheers. Crack on!
Season record: 43-52 ATS (45.26%)
Im 0-2-1 when backing Virginia this year which means that Im due for a win with the Hoos. Gamblers fallacy, schmamblers fallacy. Louisville is improving, but their wins have come against Eastern Kentucky, Western Kentucky, a bad Boston College team, and Wake Forest without its starting quarterback. Louisvilles defense is one of the worst in the country (100th in SP+), and Im skeptical about their offense being successful against Virginias 14th ranked defense. The Cavs are better at every position and should suffocate Louisville en route to a double digit win.
Betting overs in service academy games is not a wise long term investment strategy, (Im long on Beanie Babies. Theyre going to bounce back any day now.) - but Air Forces offense is 25th in SP+, and in their last 3 Mountain West games, they have scored 56, 43, and 41. Air Forces defense, however, is ranked 83rd, and they are facing a capable quarterback in Utah States Jordan Love. With a QBR of 106 in Mountain West games, Love and the Aggie offense should be able to move the ball efficiently. I expect both teams to get in to the 30s which puts us comfortably over the number.
Tulane no-showed at Memphis as a popular dog last week, but people should have been prepared to have their money taken near Orange Mound (obligatory: TWO FINGERS ROUND, THREE FINGERS DOWN) Navys option offense is typically tough to prepare for in a week, but Fritz is well versed in the triple option, and Tulane played Army earlier this season. Tulanes starting running back could return to the lineup against Navy, and his back up should be a go after leaving the Memphis game early. The Green Wave is too well coached to play poorly in back to back weeks, and I think they win a close one.
I like the Badgers. I will continue to like the Badgers. Ohio State wins but Wisconsin can run on anybody and will shorten this game and cover the line.
Akron is the only team in the country 0-7 against the spread so why not?
Gophers are for real. This also shows some early reverse line movement.
Charlie Strongs true freshman quarterback is injured and may not play. Past him, theres a walk on left in the quarterback room. The wrong team seems to be favored here and I expect a big win for Mike Houston in his first season in FBS.
Too many points for a team that wants to keep possessions to 10 or fewer. A slow, plodding game at 11am in Manhattan means take the points, especially when its practically four scores.
What am I missing here? Tennessee will have a guy at quarterback that either cant throw or they dont trust. Since Brian Maurer went down, the Vols totals are 30 and 48 with the latter coming against Alabama. The Gamecocks are more than content with shortening the game and that horrible Tennessee offense will do nothing but drain the clock.
This one isnt hard. I dont believe in Shea Patterson and Jim Harbaugh to get it done. Point blank. Ian Book can really spin it (completed 64% of his passes for 275 yards against Georgia) and I expect him to carve up the Wolverine secondary. Brian Kelly might be 0-fer in Ann Arbor but I think he gets a W this weekend.
The Cougs have covered nine straight against the Ducks, including winning each of the past four outright. Justin Herbert and the Ducks are for real but this one always seems to be weird. Oregons No. 8-ranked SP+ defense will test Mike Leachs offense but I expect a Pac-12 dogfight in Eugene here.
This is going to feel like a 90s SEC Saturday afternoon game. Auburns only shot is to run wild on LSUs good-but not-great defense and to keep the explosive LSU offense on the bench, but Im not sure thatll happen. But, I do like the idea of Gus Malzahn playing keep away and the Tigers getting theirs when they can.
Originally posted here:
Posted: at 1:49 pm
Casino developers are racing to meet a Monday deadline to submit applications to the Illinois Gaming Board to be considered for one of the states six new casino licenses authorized under Gov. J.B. Pritzkers massive gambling expansion.
Illinois 10 existing gambling meccas have chugged a long way from their riverboat origins nearly three decades ago along Illinois waterways, first docking with lawmakers blessing and gradually creeping onto land as the state has increasingly relied on gambling tax revenue.
Casino operators have stretched that riverboat definition as far as the law will bend, with most still considered barges and a few built over shallow pits of water to meet state requirements.
Eager developers are now painting rosy images of vast new entertainment complexes ones that are now allowed to break ground on land without any aquatic pretenses costing hundreds of millions of dollars in this latest gaming growth, which Pritzker is banking on to help fund his signature $45 billion capital plan for statewide construction projects.
Thats despite the fact casino admissions and revenues have steadily declined in Illinois over the last decade. And anti-gambling activists are preparing for what they say will lead to a surge in addiction.
Take a spin through our map to survey the states current gambling scene and where its expected to grow. Youll also find out which Illinois casino inspired a Wilco song, where one particularly corrupt suburban politician liked to play the slots, how the states first casino ended up in last place and which entertainer wants you to want to go to a casino envisioned for Rockford.
The new law allows for casinos in five specific municipalities Chicago, Waukegan, Rockford, Danville in eastern Illinois and Downstate Williamson County plus another casino pegged for a broader area of southern Cook County. Casino developers need approval from the local government to apply to the Gaming Board.
While officials in Danville, Rockford, and Williamson County have all advanced single-site proposals from handpicked developers, Waukegan has approved three competing bids all earmarked for the same site and will leave it up to the Gaming Board to decide. And six different bidders are duking it out with competing sites for the south suburban Cook County casino license.
Amidst all that forward movement, the fate of the Chicago casino is up in the air as Mayor Lori Lightfoot goes back to the drawing board with Springfield lawmakers to try to salvage a viable plan. A state-hired consultant deemed taxes too onerous for any developer to make a decent profit under the version the Legislature passed in June. The consultant also shot down the five South and West side city sites Lightfoot floated, arguing a downtown location would be more lucrative.
The gambling legislation signed over the summer could eventually more than double the number of places Illinoisans will be able to place a bet. Among other new gambling forays, including yet-to-be-launched legal sports betting, it also allows the states horse racetracks to become racinos with slot machines and table games, and it increases the number of allowable gaming positions for the states 10 existing casinos from 1,200 to 2,000.
The Gaming Board has up to a year to navigate through the casino applications.
See the rest here:
Posted: at 1:49 pm
Will the end of Chinese involvement in ASEANs online gambling sector see a spiral in property prices?
A stark example of this is playing out in Cambodia, where there have been reports of the property bubble bursting in Sihanoukville a beach town now known for its casinos after Prime Minister Hun Sen announced that the country would stop issuing online gambling permits on 18 August.
In the Philippines, though, President Rodrigo Duterte has remained steadfast in his support for online gambling, and the revenue it earns for the countrys coffers, despite increasingly stern warnings from Beijing.
Gambling is illegal in China and online gambling centreswhich cater to Chinese nationals have sprouted up across ASEAN as a result most notably in Cambodia and the Philippines.
Gambling syndicates hire Chinese to operate these online gambling centres, and the influx of Chinese nationals employed in the online gambling sector in both Cambodia and the Philippines is well documented.
While this has driven up rental prices both for office space which host these centres and premises which house the workers this may soon be a thing of the past.
Bradley Murg, director of Global Development Studies at Seattle Pacific University, told Casino.org that his sources in Sihanoukville estimate that around 10,000 Chinese had left the city by the first week of September as a result of Hun Sens directive.
Those that depart will likely go to China first, with many making their way to the Philippines in light of Manilas decision to keep online gambling open, despite Chinese pressure to close the sector down, Murg told the industry website.
Speaking at a real estate expo earlier this month, Kim Heang, CEO of Khmer Real Estate, told Cambodian media that such departures will take a toll on the property sector in Sihanoukville, Poipet and Bavet.
The buildings in Sihanoukville that used to be rented out for US$20,000 a month, no one is renting them now, not even for US$8,000 a month, he said.
James Hodge, the director of international real estate firm CBRE Cambodia, told Cambodian media that there has been a reduction in land prices in Sihanoukville a backpackers haven which has now been transformed into the Macau of Southeast Asia thanks to Chinese investment and gamblers.
While the Filipino government estimates that there are some 130,000 Chinese nationals working for over 50 online gambling companies in the Philippines, insiders say the number is closer to 300,000.
The influx of Chinese workers has driven up property prices, and there are stories of Filipinos moving out of their homes and renting them to Chinese online gambling operators as they stand to make nearly three times the going rate in rent.
They (Chinese online gambling companies) came in and saved the office market, Dom Fredrick Andaya, a director at real estate firm Colliers International Philippines told international media in July. We would have had double-digit vacancy rates by 2017 if they did not come.
Another firm, Leechiu Property Consultants, said in March that strong demand for property by online gambling operators has seen rent in certain areas of Manila spike by as much as 80 percent over the last three years.
Is this sustainable though?
Boo Chanco, a business columnist at the Philippine Star, certainly does not think so writing in June that a crackdown on online gambling will lead to the property market cooling down so fast our stock market may experience an ice age.
Noting that private construction of office buildings and condominiums might slump as well, Chanco stressed that the amount of business and residential floor space turning vacant would bring down rental costs in the capital, especially in popular areas such as the Bay Area, Makati, BGC and Ortigas.
According to international research house ECA International in March, the average rental price for an unfurnished, three-bedroom apartment in the mid-range of the expatriate market in Kuala Lumpur was RM6,632 (US$1,621) per month.
Chinese online gambling syndicates, though, are paying well above market value in Malaysia where online gambling is illegal.
While there are no substantive reports linking Chinese online gambling activities to a rise in real estate prices in Malaysia, a police raid at a 20-bedroom luxury bungalow which netted 117 Chinese nationals revealed that the syndicate rented the mansion for RM30,000 (US$7,200) a month presumably a bargain considering they were raking in RM500,000 (US$120,000) a day.
While it may be difficult to predict the effects of Chinese online gambling on property prices across the region, one thing for sure is that increased pressure by China or another sudden ban such as Hun Sens in August will inevitably lead to the sector collapsing leaving landlords and property developers who depend on them high and dry.
Is China using ASEAN for its gambling fix?
How China changed Sihanoukville
Singapore property prices predicted to increase by 10%
Posted: at 1:49 pm
The US online gambling market is still in its infancy, in the process of figuring itself out. So, how many different brands will gamblers have to choose from when the industry settles into its stride?
New Jersey and Nevada have had online gambling for a few years now, giving us an idea of how things might play out elsewhere.
We can also look to the United Kingdom for what to expect. The US online gambling market is expected to be similar in size to the UK within a matter of years. Sports betting is also expected to make up a large portion of US online gambling activity, as it does across the Atlantic.
There are already 22 online casinos in New Jersey, 15 online sportsbooks and four online poker rooms. In the UK, the top 10 brands control about an 80% market share between them.
Looking at those numbers on their own, it seems reasonable to expect a lot of competition in the US market as it expands. However, New Jersey and Nevada are special cases due to their long history of brick-and-mortar gambling. The UK is also very different from the US economically, culturally and from a regulatory perspective.
When the dust begins to settle in the US, its quite likely that the market will be dominated by a relatively small number of brands. Heres why.
The recent string of corporate tie-ups is the biggest sign that competition could be limited. The market hasnt even gotten off the ground yet. Some potential competitors are acquiring or merging with one another.
The biggest and most recent of these is the acquisition of The Stars Group (TSG) by Flutter. If that goes through as planned next year, it will create the worlds largest gaming company by a good margin. TSG also acquired an elite UK brand in Sky Betting & Gaming last year.
Flutter, for its part, was created by a merger between Paddy Power and Betfair. It went on to acquire FanDuel following the fall of the federal sports betting ban in the US in 2018.
This is far from the only example. Another is the GVC acquisition of the bookmakers Ladbrokes and Coral in 2018. These two brands had already merged in 2015.
It would not be surprising to see further consolidation of brands into large conglomerates in the coming years. In fact, it would be somewhat surprising if we didnt.
Where the brands are already established, like the UK, they continue to operate semi-independently. In new markets like the US, however, theres little reason to operate multiple brands under the same vertical. Flutter will likely concentrate on PokerStars, Fox Bet and FanDuel, and GVC on Roar Digital and the Party brand.
It isnt only big deals between gambling companies that we see, either. Operators are scrambling to get smaller deals in place with both media outlets and various sports leagues and teams. Some of these agreements are exclusive.
Just looking at a few of the deals in place for TSG/Flutter, we have:
Other major gaming companies have likewise been working on various sports and media partnerships. These are going to be key to marketing in the US.
Latecomers to market will have a hard time finding such partnerships and may not be able to compete without them.
The amount of money American companies spend on advertising also acts as a barrier to entry for some operators.
Total gambling ad spent in the US this year is projected to be around $735 per capita, compared to around $485 in the UK. Thats more than a 50% difference.
A young marketmeans that companies big and small will be advertising more intensely than they would in an established one.
In 2015, as the US daily fantasy sports market gained traction, FanDuel and DraftKings spent over $200 million on advertising between them. As the US online gambling market opens up, expect a flood of advertising dollars from the likes of Flutter/TSG, GVC, Caesars and so on.
That creates a huge disincentive to smaller international brands eyeing the market, let alone anyone trying to establish a new brand. The cost just to get noticed amidst the noise will be astronomical at first and likely stay that way for several years.
Part of the reason that brands proliferate in Europe is that it consists of a large number of similarly-sized countries. Many of these end up producing their own national brands. And when those national brands reach a certain size, they sometimes spread out into adjacent markets.
Paddy Power was an Irish brand that spread to the UK before merging with Betfair. Swedish company Betsson has similarly become a force in the UK and throughout Europe. And so on.
North America is just starting to see some cross-border brand expansion from Canada to the US.
The sports app theScore, which now has a betting product, is the lone example, so far. With sports betting legal in only a fraction of US states, the size of the Canadian and American markets is similar at the moment.
Once more states legalize betting, though, the US market will be much larger than Canada. Cross-border branding will flow mostly the other way at that point. Its unlikely that the US public will ever have much interest in Mexican brands, either.
In the long-run, the key brands in the US will be either homegrown or owned by major international companies.
There could, in fact, be many brands in the US market eventually. If thats the case, though, many will not be national brands.
The nature of the US market is that its divided because online gambling is being legalized on a state-by-state basis. Each has its regulatory requirements and an individual licensing fee.
Geographic expansion in the US, therefore, comes not only with a marketing cost, but licensing and development costs as well.
The major brands like PokerStars/Fox Bet, Roar Digital, Caesars, etc. will launch wherever they can. Smaller brands, however, might choose to focus on just one or two states in order to keep those costs down.
Furthermore, some states will not allow private companies to operate at all. Some are granting their state lotteries a monopoly, which will keep those brands local. See, for example, Sportsbook Rhode Island.
Other states require online operators to have a land-based partner, such as a casino. Big companies like GVC and The Stars Group have shown a preference for selecting smaller partners, which wont interfere with their branding.
However, popular casinos such as Parx in Pennsylvania are seeking out white label partners to provide their online gaming platforms. Parx has already expanded into neighboring New Jersey because it is almost as well-known there as it is in Pennsylvania.
Its dubious whether the Parx Online brand would fare well elsewhere, however, where the casino doesnt enjoy the same name recognition.
The most likely way things will play out, then, is that there will be in the vicinity of eight major national brands, but the same few companies will own many of these:
Depending on how things go, some other international operators like 888 and Kindred Group may manage to establish a national presence in the US. Kindred is already trying with its Unibet brand in New Jersey.
Beyond that, there will likely be a large number of local brands based on state lotteries, land-based casinos and racetracks. These are unlikely to hold much market share at the national level.
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