Since the repealment of the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992 (commonly known as PASPA or the Bradley Act) in May 2018, state regulators have been quick to act in starting to regulate online betting on a state-by-state basis.
Both local American land-based casino companies, and online European operators are battling it out for a slice of the US gambling pie. But how will this affect prominent European brands, particularly UK bookies? That’s what we’re going to look at.
Mergers & Acquisitions
The first thought that comes to mind, is how mergers and acquisitions are going to change the landscape on both continents. We’d already seen the mergers of Ladbrokes, Coral and the wider GVC before the US opened up, as well as Paddy Power Betfair.
Now, since the US has started to open up online gambling this has just increased the M&A activity further.
For example, Paddy Power Betfair went shopping for FanDuel to make sure that they got an early start in the US sports betting world. Then, more recently, there was the coming together of Pokerstars, Sky Bet and the Paddy Power Betfair group. This has created a behemoth in the industry!
To add to that, an offer from Caesars Group for William Hill’s operations is pending shareholders approval. It’s not 100% clear yet on what part of the business won’t be in the deal, or which areas will be sold off to UK bookmakers and European-based operators.
But it just goes to show that the US market opening up is affecting UK bookmakers. William Hill has been around since the 1920s, and now they’re going to form part of one of the biggest US online and land-based gambling operations.
There’s no doubt in our mind that this isn’t the last of the M&A activity, on both sides of the Atlantic.
Bonuses and Promotions
Welcome bonuses have become synonymous to attract new players for European operators. The same can be said when looking at welcome offers in New Jersey. Bonus codes, free spins no deposit, deposit bonuses, free bets, the US has these too. But, just like the cars, food and houses in America the casino bonuses are bigger too! We’re seeing 100% bonuses up to $1000.
Just because big bonuses are being offered in the States doesn’t mean that this is going to transcribe over to Europe. Especially when there is already a lot of regulatory headwind in the UK, Germany and Sweden.
Sports sponsorships have been a great way to boost brand awareness. We’re now seeing many sports teams making sponsorship deals with sportsbook brands. For example, the Denver Nuggets and PointsBet entered into an exclusive gaming sponsorship deal.
Whilst in the U.K. and Spain, these two countries are trying to put bans in place for gambling sponsorships. Will the UKGC and DOJ change their minds when they keep seeing news stories of gambling sponsorship flying out of the United States.
Rise of Poker Globally
Arguably, Poker has already had it’s online heyday. Readers will probably be able to cast their minds back to the Full Tilt and Pokerstars days in the US. Since Black Friday, it’s been hard for European players to have a friendly game of poker with their fellow American gamblers.
The more worldwide poker players there are to compete with each other the better in our eyes. This could give a boost to poker as a vertical in Italy, France, Spain, Germany, the UK, and the rest of Europe. Let’s wait and see to assess this idea.
Podcasts have become increasingly popular around the entire world. People like Joe Rogan have helped spur this on and now companies are seeing this as an attractive alternative marketing channel.
Americans love podcasts and many gambling brands are already creating their own. We’re seeing European brands jumping on the podcast bandwagon after seeing their success in the US. Just look at Betsson who recently started their own Swedish Ice Hockey podcast.
I think it’s only a matter of time before we see horse racing, and football betting podcasts in the UK and other European countries. The way that consumers receive their entertainment is changing rapidly, and audio is definitely on the rise!
There we have it, a look at how the newly regulated (and regulating) American States are affecting online gambling companies in Europe.
The predictions that we’ve made here might not be completely correct, but we think by showing the evidence there’s a high chance some are true. But for sure you’ll be hearing more about gambling companies sponsoring sport teams in the States, and most likely more M&A activity.