British Bookmakers Eye Up The US

Several leading British Bookmakers which include the likes of bet365, Paddy Power and GVC owned Ladbrokes Coral are looking across the pond with an eye on establishing themselves in the lucrative US market place. This comes about after the US Supreme Court last May overturned a 25 year federal ban on sports betting.

Whilst good news for US residents, this action by the US Supreme Court has the potential to be extremely lucrative to betting firms, hence the keen interest by some of the largest names in British sports betting.

With experts predicting the US sports betting market could be worth as much as $19bn in revenues by 2023, this is certainly an opportunity and area that the British gaming firms will be keen to grab a piece of the action in.

Indeed, the AGA ( American Gaming Association ) have opined that the illegal sports betting industry in the US was accepting wagers of $150bn upwards.

UIGEA Exodus

Those who have been participating in online gambling for over a decade or more, will remember the mass exodus of gaming firms from the US market place in 2006, when the UIGEA ( Unlawful Internet Gaming Enforcement Act ) was passed, albeit on the back of the Safe Port Act.

Subsequent actions by the US authorities saw many major players, including the likes of 888 having to pay the US Federal Govt, in some cases hundreds of millions of dollars, to escape potential criminal proceedings as a result. Others were not so lucky, just ask David Carruthers and BetOnSports.

‘Potential Goldmine’ for Licensed Operators

Over the past few years, since it was becoming apparent that the US marketplace could open up to regulated online gaming, several operators have been keen to tie up associations with established regulated land based operators.

This has seen operators such as 888, Paddy Power Betfair and Ladbrokes Coral all ‘invest’ in the US market place as a result. Paddy Power Betfair for instance took a 60% stake in Fantasy Sports operator Fan Duel. Whilst, GVC owned Ladbrokes have signed a $200m joint venture with MGM casinos to create Roar Digital.

Not to be left out of the ‘party’ the likes of 888 and William Hill have been opening their respective cheque books, ensuring they too, have a foothold in the US.

With Regulation comes Great Responsibility

So all is good, yes? Well yes for US residents, but possibly not so great for the marketing partners of those bookmakers who are keen to grab a piece of the regulated US action.

For an operator wanting to operate in any of the US states where gambling is legal, the bar for acceptance is very high. Arguably much more so than anywhere else in the world. So a warning to affiliate marketing partners who work with any of the operators who are already or are about to dip their toes in the US.

Operators will be keen to ensure they have ticked all the boxes, so as obtaining a license or licenses in the US is achievable. However, should their affiliate marketing partners promote ‘grey’ casinos or sports products to their US visitors, this could have a detrimental affect on them.

To this extent, should you work with an operator actively seeking to enter the regulated US market, but you also ‘promote’ operators who are to all extents and purposes, ‘unregulated’ in the US. You could well find the ban hammer coming down on your affiliate account or accounts, operated by those firms seeking a bona fida license from a US State where sports betting is regulated.

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Simon Wright

Simon Wright

Simon Wright has been both a player and an observer of the online casino industry for over 15 years. His knowledge of the online casino industry – to include sports is massive. Not many folks have the experience or his knowledge about online gambling. His adoration of football is also noted. He has painted his house blue (Chelsea) and annoys his neighbors with local football songs on game days.

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