The Decision: What’s Next for the US Sports Betting Industry?

Lee R. - June 3, 2018

Protecting vulnerable players now falls to the hands of local regulation, the operators, and the players themselves.

With so many overseas operators primed and waiting to join the incoming US sports betting market, the industry may see the ramifications of the Supreme Court’s decision as having the most impact on the European side of the pond.

Foreign Interest

Yes, scores of foreign operators have been looking for quite some time to tap into a market filled with a high percentage of passionate end users.

Domestic Competition

However, let’s not forget that would-be American operators and existing American operators have also been chomping at the bit for years to get into a market that for them did not exist outside of the states of Nevada, Las Vegas, Delaware, and New Jersey.

Prime Advocate

Former New Jersey governor John Christie is generally accredited with the heavy lifting, leading advocacy efforts as New Jersey governor before leaving the position to investing more energy in the campaign to repeal PASPA 1992.

Legalised and Legitimised

The lifting of the ban removes the stigma of sports betting as an illicit behaviour in American society. The Decision puts faith and responsibility in the hands of local regulation, operators and ultimately the public to protect against addiction, which was the root of all sports betting stigma to begin with.

Getting Out of the Gate

Now that the law is no longer a barrier, a combination of leading technology, effective engagement, sensitivity to local regulation will be the keys to success for any gaming organisation as the US inevitably begins its own regulation process.

Key Qualities

The most effective entries into the passion-driven American market will be the safest and most user-friendly offerings for online sports betting, regardless of whether the service provider is large or small, young or old, US or overseas based.

Play to Strength of Safety

The safer a site is, the more engaging it will be. Operators need to maximize and play up the innovative safety features of their sites to profit--not by tapping into weakness or vulnerability, but by tapping into the strengths of a brand-conscious society with a passion for enjoyment. 

All Available Support  

The nature of addiction is to cloud personal judgement; in a society where addiction rates and compulsive behaviour are high; it takes more than just one actor to protect the vulnerable.  

Strategic Self-Reporting  

Looking forward, a friends and family self-reporting mechanism may offer the optimal exclusion list model for a society that does struggle with addiction.

Enhancing Self-Exclusion

When registering, players can be required to list three or so persons they authorise to deactivate their punting activity when problem behaviour manifests. The implication is the listed authorisees would be the ones most vulnerable to any problem gambling behaviour of the account holder, such as family members.

Those Authorized

They also would have the most knowledge about the account holder’s past, thus positioning them to put the player on an exclusion list to protect themselves and the problem gambler.

Shared Not Permanent

These exclusion lists should be shared by all operators, yet they should not carry permanent ban features, out of respect for the player’s ultimate right to choose his or her behaviour, and to motivate addicted players to rehabilitate themselves and get back to enjoying their passion.

The Key Feature

Exclusion lists should be preventative but not absolute. Absolutism and judgementalism are what got punting in America banned for so long in the first place.

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