Sports betting has been an indistinguishable part of the UK gambling landscape for hundreds of years. Sports betting is as synonymous with gambling as any traditional casino game on these shores.
Bookies on UK high streets are as common a sight as any, and the oldest UK sports betting brand, Ladbrokes, has been operating since 1886! And, of course, sports betting sites are just as popular among UK punters.
However, sports betting has not enjoyed quite the same freedom and prominence over the pond in the United States. Sports betting has largely always been an illegal activity in America and it was only in May of 2018 that a formal decision was made to begin legalising and regulating sports betting on a national scale.
This is huge news for the sports betting industry and it seems inevitable that it will go through changes as sports betting outfits seek to capitalise on this potentially hugely lucrative market.
William Hill recently struck a deal with the American casino operator Eldorado Resorts, securing a 25-year partnership. Paddy Power Betfair have just released a sports betting smartphone app for New Jersey customers. Evidently firms are making moves and making them quickly.
How will the decriminalisation and regulation of US sports betting effect UK sports betting and what will it mean for UK sports bettors? We will explore these questions in this article.
Will sports betting firms start to neglect UK sports betting customers?
Undoubtedly, the news that US authorities would begin the process of decriminalising sports betting would have perked up the ears of UK sports betting firms nationwide. The US market has massive potential with hundreds of millions of sports fans throughout the country. It’s unsurprising that moves are being made already among UK sports betting firms with such a huge market to tap into.
Over time, realistically, this is going to change sports betting as we know it in some way, how could it not? The question is, what will the changes be and how much will they actually impact on UK sports bettors.
Although the US market has huge potential for growth, it is unquestionable that the UK sports betting market is the bread and butter for sports betting outfits. Sports betting is very much a part of sports culture in the UK and it would be unthinkable for sports betting outfits to start neglecting such a strong and reliable market as the UK’s.
To give you some idea of the magnitude of it, people are betting £626 online every second in the UK on sports betting.
Furthermore, online sports betting turnover was 19.7 billion pounds between October 2016 and September 2017. Sports betting firms will be fully aware of these figures and the value of the UK sports betting market.
We cannot see any reason why these firms would start to neglect the UK sports betting market. Making bold predictions at this stage is extremely difficult and, ultimately, premature. But one thing seems certain – sports betting firms are not going to abandon UK spots betting markets anytime soon.
The bottom line is that UK sports bettors should not be worried. Their sports betting experience at an individual level is probably not going to be affected much at all by the emergence of the US sports betting market.
What is the future of sports betting?
As the US sports betting market develops sports betting firms will be making investments and opening themselves to the possibilities of this emerging market. Of course, this will mean that the focus will be wider for these firms.
However, we cannot see this widening of focus resulting in a lack of regard for the UK sports betting market. This market is far too big and established to be ignored. Consequently, the UK sports bettor should still enjoy sports betting in much the same way they already do.
Perhaps the future of sports betting will be a split between UK/European sports betting and US sports betting within the big sports betting outfits.
Whilst golf and tennis are probably just as popular in the United States as in the UK, the likes of football, cricket and rugby certainly aren’t.
What’s more, the three biggies in the USA – basketball, American football and baseball – are not nearly as popular in the UK as they are in the States.
It seems logical to infer from this that sports betting firms could split their sports betting options into two different strands of UK sports betting and American sports betting, with the possible betting options of each one reflecting the popularity of individual sports in the two countries.
Do you have an opinion on US sports betting and what it might mean? Will UK sports betting be impacted negatively? Do you have any concerns about the emergence of US sports betting? Just comment below if you have an opinion on anything we’ve discussed here, we would love to hear from you!