How betting will change the sports media business

Sports Betting

Sports betting is, without a doubt, a growing market. Bookmakers are making more and more every year, and sport bettors are beginning to take up most of the audience who watch a sport.

A study by the American Gaming Association showed that a mere 25% of the audience were betting on a game, however, they also accounted for 47% of the minutes viewed. This shows that audiences with a bet in place are more likely to watch a sport and are more likely to invest themselves in a game.

The problem with the study done by the American Gaming Association is the lack of legal gambling on a nation-wide level. It is only legal in 11 states. So, when you consider the $5 Billion was spent on sports betting in Nevada alone shows the possibility for a huge revenue if sports betting were to become legal nationwide. And that number doesn’t take into consideration the amount of illegal betting, which is estimated to be in the hundreds of billions of dollars.

In contrast, in the UK, where betting is fully legal and has only a small portion of the population of the USA, around 65 million people, bookmakers saw a revenue of $20 billion for the year in 2017. One of the most popular bookmakers claimed to have generated $3 billion in revenue, which is roughly around $666 million in profit. If they were to invest a small percentage, say 25% back into sport, they would be investing $700 million. Imagine if companies such as Betway, Bet365, and the many others that would potentially follow suit, invested back into the sport industry. Every sport would see a huge increase in quality, popularity and much more.

Where that money would be seen is in advertisements. As mentioned earlier, an audience with a bet on a game is more likely to watch and invest in said game, and that is the target audience for betting companies. This would mean that different bookmakers would potentially pay large sums of money to advertise at certain times, sponsor teams and/or different events such as cups or trophies, etc. This could potentially change the way sports marketing works. In the UK there is already a heavy presence of sport betting adverts, even on daytime television. However, across the pond in the US, where their sport television very advertisement heavy, there is an opportunity to exploit bookmakers for advertisement times if gambling were to become legal in more states. Even so, focusing the adverts to legal gambling states is a step in the right direction.

The sport betting market is already huge and continuously growing. There is potential for it to change the way marketing and sports work together. If you can make an audience have a more invested interest in a sport by placing a bet, you will get higher ratings. Only time will tell how this will go.