Spectrum’s Annual Industry Trends Report Is Out

US has unleashed potential of sports betting

The respected US gambling industry consulting group Spectrum has released its fifteenth annual report on trends in the industry, with the following among its predictions:

  • Online operators can expect more scrutiny and crackdowns from China, the Philippines and Cambodia, where casino streaming services are likely to come under pressure;
  • Online and retail sports betting opportunities will continue to grow in the USA following the strike down of PASPA by the US Supreme Court earlier this year. The burgeoning market will attract European and Asian B2B sports-betting and online gaming providers looking for local partners;
  • The liberalised sports betting market will also prompt legislators and regulators to develop clear, uniform definitions as to what constitutes a grey or black market;
  • Esports will continue to generate interest both online and in the land sector, with more gaming and pari-mutuel operators seeking eSports offerings in the future, mainly to attract younger demographics;
  • The expansion of lotteries into both i-gaming and sports betting will grow significantly, creating competitive tensions in jurisdictions that have both lotteries and either tribal or commercial casinos, thus requiring legislatures to address conflicts through new policies that provide limits as to the online channels and offerings that lotteries and casinos can pursue;
  • Private companies that have not previously been involved in any form of legal gaming, such as sports bars and restaurants, will seek to offer sports and/or online wagering, largely choosing to become lottery retailers.
  • More states will respond to fiscal pressures by expanding their gambling offerings through additional licenses, lottery expansions, retail gaming and other means, prompting existing land-based casino licensees to push back, as they view such expansions as detrimental to their operations;
  • Lotteries that seek to offer mobile and online sports betting will be pressured to adopt regulatory policies that have to date largely been limited to gambling operators, including robust, comprehensive licensing of retailers, as well as rules governing areas ranging from internal-control submissions to responsible-gaming policies and other areas;
  • States and tribal governments that have existing compacts that did not contemplate online or sports betting will face increasing pressure to open compact negotiations to address these areas;
  • European and Asian B2B sports-betting and online gaming providers will seek entry points into the US market, with many facing challenges due to previous online ventures into gray and black markets. This will prompt legislators and regulators to develop clear, uniform definitions as to what constitutes a gray or black market;
  • With online and sports betting expansion in the US, regulators and legislators will be pressed to restrict and regulate advertising and related rules, following similar plans under consideration by some major European jurisdictions — including Italy and the United Kingdom;
  • M&A activity is likely to ramp up in US casino operations, as online gambling consolidation in general will continue. Sports book/online platforms and operators will be on the radar for US operators and suppliers, whilst European players will be hunting for US acquisitions;
  • Concurrent with the crackdown on the online gaming industry, Spectrum said it expects changes to the Asian junket industry, with some junkets positioning themselves as casino operators and others forced to go out of business as the reliance of junkets in Macau diminishes.