Regardless of the PASPA ruling it is time to engage in sports today

Regardless of the PASPA ruling it is time to engage in sports today

Tuesday, October 24, 2017 Posted by Joanna Mapes
David Sargeant, Innovation consultant at igamingideas shares his insights ahead of the Sports Betting USA Conference

So if you believe the optimists then this December will see the beginning of the end of PASPA. This monumental shift would see individual states decide for themselves if and how sports betting could arrive legally in the USA on a grand scale.

That's exciting! As a sports betting consultant it's the stuff of dreams. I help betting operators around the world find new products and new ways of engaging gambling consumers through sport. Having a whole new legalised market (estimated to be worth up to $6bn) would be amazing.

How sports wagering may look on a state by state level is a big unknown. Even the timescales are unknown. To be honest we don't even know if it is actually going to happen. Regardless though it is time NOW to engage your consumers with sports. There is an opportunity today to acquire, engage, and brand build. This is valid for any gambling brand, but even more important if your ultimate end goal is building a sports betting audience.

Sport yields unending daily talking points, and importantly opinions. Bets are also opinions so driving sports conversation absolutely drives betting volume. In Europe we are used to seeing sports betting operators utilise sports content to engage consumers and drive revenue. I work with Fresh8 who automate the whole process of identifying consumers, what they do and what they are reading, and delivering the correct message to the correct person at the correct time. If you ever read Sporting Life you will see how the Skybet advertising changes depending on who you are and what you are reading.

This obviously does not happen in the USA. It always surprises me how the established US horse racing industry doesn't utilise digital content in this way. But it is true for any gambling brand.

There are many ways to engage with sports fans today without having betting as the end product. Lots of companies are emerging either with engagment products, or as Clarion's Ewa Bakun describes it "sports betting lite".

Some companies are using fantasy legislation to make products that are close to sports betting. Resorts Casino in New Jersey rolled out Fast Pick from SportAD. Head to head player predictions give Resorts not only a revenue generating product online and on the casino floor, but also the ability to use the power of players, and how they are performing, as the marketing focus.

Removing the money element is also a route to market. Chalkline Sports is getting success selling their BettorEngagement product. This works in a play for free for prizes model but allows organisations to brand build and acquire a betting friendly customer database.

In Europe up to two thirds of sports betting  is inplay. So the evolution into these short term markets seems inevitable. WinView are exploiting this engagement model with a free to play game that pays out cash prizes. Will be extremely interesting to see how they get on.

Then there are Virtual Sports. Usually classified as a gaming product these can often be offered on the casino floor under existing gaming legislation. American sports are being increasingly catered for too. For example Bet Radar has a virtual basketball product, Inspired has virtual football (of the American kind). While virtual sports are normally used by European books as a way to expand the content window they could have an interesting role as a stepping stone product prior to sports betting regulation.

The sports betting usa conference is extremely timely with the PASPA hearing due for December. However no matter what the outcome the time to engage with sports is today.

About David Sargeant – David  is a Sports Betting Innovation Consultant based out of London, UK. He works with sports betting, horse racing, and gambling operators around the world helping them innovate their sports betting product, and works with startups and suppliers trying to break into the sports betting industry.

For more information and to register for the Sports Betting USA conference, taking place November 14-15, 2017, Convene New York, visit: sportsbettingusaconference.com

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